Physical (Social) Distancing, Quarantine (Self-Isolate) and Isolation

Physical (Social) Distancing, Quarantine (Self-Isolate) and Isolation

Photo by EVG photos

There are differences between physical (social) distancing, quarantine (self-isolate), and isolate.1 Please refer and adhere to your jurisdiction’s protocols. If you have recently traveled, you may refer to the latest COVID-19 update on the International Air Transport Association website,2 which includes a list of countries and their restriction measures.

Table of Contents

  1. Physical (social) distancing
  2. Quarantine (Self-Isolation)
  3. Isolation
  4. References
1. Physical (social) distancing

Physical (social) distancing is something we all must do to slow the spread of COVID-19. Keep 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and other people.1,3

The poster above explains what physical (social) distancing means. Please follow guidelines and recommendations of your jurisdiction.

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/social-distancing.html
This video shows physical distancing (i.e. remaining at least 2 metres or 6 feet from others) in different settings. Please follow guidelines and recommendations of your jurisdiction.

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/video/covid-19-physical-distancing-stay-two-metres-apart.html

Additional Tips for Parents About Physical (Social) Distancing:

  • To maintain social connections while physical (social) distancing, conduct virtual meetings or playdates for children.3 When school is out, children should not have playdates with children from other households. Use technology to keep in touch with friends and family.3
  • If children and adolescents are playing outside of their own homes, they should maintain a distance of at least 2 metres or 6 feet away from anyone who is not part of their household.3
  • Children and adolescents with diabetes should follow local regulations regarding schooling. Home-based remote learning is an option.4  
  • Limit travel to cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely.5
2. Quarantine (Self-Isolation)

This infographic summarizes guidelines and recommendations on how to quarantine (self-isolate) in Canada. Please refer to your jurisdiction’s protocols regarding quarantine (self-isolation).

Please note that there is some overlap between advice to quarantine (self-isolate) and isolate. You may need to quarantine for 14 days even if you have no symptoms in these cases (and perhaps other situations):1

  • Are returning from travel.
  • Had close contact with someone who has tested positive or is suspected of having COVID-19 infection.
  • Have been advised by your local public health authority that you could have been exposed and need to quarantine.

What does quarantine (self-isolation) look like?1,3

  • For 14 days, you may need to:
    • Stay at home and monitor for symptoms (e.g. coughing, fever, difficulty breathing), even if symptoms are mild (e.g. headache, low-grade fever of 37.3°C or above, or slightly runny nose).1
    • Call a healthcare professional or public health authority if parents/caregivers develop symptoms or children and adolescents develop symptoms. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with ill individuals because this will allow the provider to better help you.1
    • Avoid contact with other people and pets in your home to help prevent the spread of the virus at the earliest stage of illness. If contact cannot be avoided, practice physical (social) distancing, keep interactions brief, and wear a non-medical mask or face covering. You should only leave your home (using private transportation) for medically necessary appointments.

Practice good hand washing, cover coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect surfaces, do not share personal items (e.g. toothbrushes and utensils).1,3

3. Isolation

This infographic summarizes guidelines and recommendations on how to isolate in Canada. Please refer to your jurisdiction’s protocols regarding isolating at home.

Please note that there is some overlap between advice to isolate and quarantine (self-isolate). You may need to isolate if you have:1,3

  • Been diagnosed with COVID-19 or you are waiting for your laboratory test results for COVID-19.
  • Symptoms of COVID-19, even if symptoms are mild (e.g. headache, low grade fever of 37.3°C or above, runny nose).1
  • Been in contact with a suspected, probable, or confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Been advised by your public health authority (e.g. if you are returning from travel).

What does isolation look like? 1

  • You may be advised by your local public health authority  to go directly home and stay home until you are no longer at risk of spreading the virus.
  • You should monitor your symptoms as advised by your healthcare provider or public health authority.
  • Avoid contact with other people and pets in your home. If contact cannot be avoided, practice physical (social) distancing, keep interactions brief, and wear a mask. A non-medical mask or face covering may be used if a medical mask is not available. You should only leave your home (using private transportation) for medically necessary appointments.
  • Keep your hands clean, cover coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect surfaces, do not share personal items (e.g. toothbrushes and utensils)

Refer to your jurisdiction’s instructions about isolation. If your symptoms get worse, you should contact your healthcare provider or public health authority.1,3 Worsening of symptoms in children and adolescents include fast or difficulty breathing, confusion, an inability to recognize you, chills from fever, fever that will not come down with fever-reducing medication (e.g. acetaminophen) for more than 12 hours.1,3 Call and tell the healthcare provider of any recent travel or contact with sick individuals because this will allow the provider to better help you.1,3

4. References
  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html 
  2. IATA. Travel news powered by IATA Timatic. https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document-news/1580226297.htm
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  4. European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology. COVID-19 Information for children and adolescents living with endocrine conditions, including Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. https://www.eurospe.org/news/item/14064/COVID-19-information-for-children-and-adolescents-living-with-endocrine-conditions-including-type-1-diabetes-mellitus 
  5. World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic. https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

Disclaimer: The information regarding COVID-19 is changing constantly as more data become available. The information provided in this website is not meant to replace diabetes healthcare team or public health agencies recommendations, and is intended for information purposes only. Please check with your healthcare providers for any deviations from your care plans.


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