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The Pondera County Health Department (PCHD) has fielded several questions recently regarding COVID-19 quarantine requirements. Those individuals who have been identified as close contacts to confirmed COVID-19 cases are asked to quarantine for 14 days, stated Nicki Sullivan, LPN, Director of PCHD.

“Quarantine is for people who are not sick and don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19, but who have been exposed to the virus,” she explained. “People who have been exposed to the virus are known as close contacts and will be asked to quarantine for 14 days.”

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure, Sullivan pointed out. “This is why you will be asked to quarantine for 14 days if you are exposed to COVID-19, because it can take 14 days for you to get sick. If someone in your house tests positive you will also be asked to quarantine.”

Quarantine keeps you away from others, so you don’t infect someone else and spread the virus, noted Sullivan.

What should I do on quarantine? Sullivan offered these suggestions:

• Stay home for 14 days from the date of your exposure.

• Try to stay at least six feet away from other people. 

• Monitor your health and watch for symptoms. Call your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms.

• Leave your house only if you have to or to get medical care and please wear a mask. Go outside to get some fresh air but remember to stay six feet away from others. 

• Clean surfaces that are touched often, including phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops, and anything metal.

Sullivan warned, failure to adhere to the quarantine order may result in the filing of civil and/or criminal pursuant to Montana Code Ann. § 50-2-124 and Montana Code Ann. § 50-2-123.

For more information, or if you have any questions or concerns, please call Sullivan at (406) 271-3247 or email her at nurse@ponderacounty.org.

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