Back to Top Skip to main content

COVID-19: Know what the terms mean

Soldiers stationed on U.S. Army Garrison Casey conduct pre-screening processes on individuals awaiting entry to the base, USAG-Casey, Dongducheon, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2020. Additional screening measures of a verbal questionnaire and temperature check are in response to the heighted awareness of Coronavirus (COVID-19) following a surge in cases throughout the Republic of Korea and are meant to help control the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the force. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Amber I. Smith) Soldiers stationed on U.S. Army Garrison Casey conduct pre-screening processes on individuals awaiting entry to the base, USAG-Casey, Dongducheon, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2020. Additional screening measures of a verbal questionnaire and temperature check are in response to the heighted awareness of Coronavirus (COVID-19) following a surge in cases throughout the Republic of Korea and are meant to help control the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the force. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Coronavirus

With cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, emerging across the globe, governments, organizations, and individuals are taking appropriate steps to protect themselves and others from spreading the respiratory disease that has already infected thousands. Along with increased and enhanced force health protection measures, many people are also learning a new vocabulary that goes along with protecting communities from communicable diseases.

For example, terms frequently used to describe community and self-protection measures include quarantine, isolation, and social distancing. But, what is the difference? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Quarantine in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.
  • Isolation means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.
  • Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
  • Congregate settings are crowded public places where close contact with others may occur, such as shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums.
  • Close contact is defined as:

a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case

– or –

b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).

  • Self-observation means people should remain alert for subjective fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop cough or difficulty breathing during the self-observation period, they should take their temperature, self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a health care provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.
  • Stay at home. This action is further defined as to how an individual will be monitored:
  • Self-monitoring means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperature twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, they should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a health care provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.
  • Self-monitoring with delegated supervision means, for certain occupational groups (e.g., some health care or laboratory personnel, airline crew members), self-monitoring with oversight by the appropriate occupational health or infection control program in coordination with the health department of jurisdiction. The occupational health or infection control personnel for the employing organization should establish points of contact between the organization, the self-monitoring personnel, and the local or state health departments with jurisdiction for the location where personnel will be during the self-monitoring period. This communication should result in agreement on a plan for medical evaluation of personnel who develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period. The plan should include instructions for notifying occupational health and the local public health authority, and transportation arrangements to a pre-designated hospital, if medically necessary, with advance notice if fever, cough, or difficulty breathing occur. The supervising organization should remain in contact with personnel through the self-monitoring period to oversee self-monitoring activities.
  • Self-monitoring with public health supervision means public health authorities assume the responsibility for oversight of self-monitoring for certain groups of people. The ability of jurisdictions to initiate or provide continued oversight will depend on other competing priorities (e.g., contact tracing, implementation of community mitigation strategies). Depending on local priorities, CDC recommends that health departments consider establishing initial communication with these people, provide a plan for self-monitoring and clear instructions for notifying the health department before the person seeks health care if they develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. As resources allow, health authorities may also check in intermittently with these people over the course of the self-monitoring period. If travelers for whom public health supervision is recommended are identified at a U.S. port of entry, CDC will notify state and territorial health departments with jurisdiction for the travelers’ final destinations.
  • Active monitoring means that the state or local public health authority assumes responsibility for establishing regular communication with potentially exposed people to assess for the presence of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. For people with high-risk exposures, CDC recommends this communication occurs at least once each day. The mode of communication can be determined by the state or local public health authority and may include telephone calls or any electronic or internet-based means of communication.

As a health practitioner or a beneficiary, it’s important to take appropriate steps to protect yourself, your family, and your co-workers. Knowing the difference between isolation, quarantine, and different forms of monitoring can help to stem the spread of any form of infectious disease.

The most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website.

You also may be interested in...

Using mobile mental health apps to cope during social isolation

Article
5/22/2020
Soldier holding cell phone, showing app to another person

Learn how your smartphone can serve as a lifeline

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Mental Health Care | Depression | Connected Health

VENDOR UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL IN SUPPORT OF COVID-19

Form/Template
5/21/2020

Unsolicited Proposal Information Supporting COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Component Acquisition Executive | Coronavirus

Air Force bioenvironmental engineers expand mission in aerovac, workspaces

Article
5/21/2020
Military Captain and team cleaning large, plastic enclosed space

The aeromedical evacuation mission became a top priority as COVID-19 began to spread.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

NMHM opens ‘virtual doors’ to the public during COVID-19

Article
5/21/2020
Image of two rows of empty hospital beds in the early 1900s

In the current climate of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, virtual environments have become an invaluable means of entertainment and education.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | National Museum of Health and Medicine

Guidance for Commanders on Risk-Based Changing of Health Protection Condition Levels During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Publication
5/20/2020

This memorandum provides guidance for commanders to consider when making decisions to change health protection condition (HPCON) levels as COVID-19 pandemic conditions on and adjacent to our installations begin to improve.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

NHB/NMRTC Bremerton’s PHEO leans in on COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/20/2020
Three men standing in front of a military medical tent

It’s been long days preparing for the unpredictable, limiting the unforeseen and controlling the unexpected.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Resuming Elective Surgical, Invasive, and Dental Procedures in Military Medical and Dental Treatment Facilities

Publication
5/19/2020

This memorandum provides guidance on how each Military Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) and Dental Treatment Facility (DTF) may resume elective medical and dental procedures.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

Military chaplains emphasize spiritual health during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/19/2020
Soldier in front of military sculpture

In a time of great fear, spiritual health remains an important domain of Total Force Fitness.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness | Total Force Fitness

DHA increases access to telehealth during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/19/2020
Medical personnel sitting at desk talking into laptop monitor

Use of telehealth role increases to prevent COVID-19 spread

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Coronavirus

METC creates innovative training to graduate RT students

Article
5/19/2020
Two medical personnel with a simulated baby in a medical setting

When COVID-19 interrupted phase 2 clinical training a class of Army and Navy respiratory therapist students needed to from the program, their clinical training instructors developed a plan and put it to action.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Expert panel on infection control to tackle COVID-19 questions

Article
5/18/2020
Two men in hazmat suits

How are patient safety decisions made during the pandemic?

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

RWBAHC Soldier Shows compassion, initiative in COVID-19 Screening

Article
5/18/2020
Two soldiers standing in front of a car, holding a coin

"This type of behavior needs to be highlighted and awarded because it is truly what makes this organization great."

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DoD COVID-19 Practice Management Guide Version 3

Technical Document
5/14/2020

This COVID-19 Practice Management Guide has been rapidly and thoughtfully developed by a multi-specialty group of 60 subject matter experts from across the Department of Defense Military Health System. The intent of this publication is to provide clinicians and military medical treatment facilities (MTFs) with best practices based on latest evidence to optimize DoD response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. This Practice Management Guideline consolidates resources and optimizes the management of patients requiring clinical care during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

BAMC infectious disease doc aids Guam's COVID response

Article
5/14/2020
Image of soldier standing, surrounded by tropical water

The Navy has since undertaken an aggressive mitigation plan of isolating, quarantining, and treating affected Sailors to keep the ship prepared to execute its mission.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Global Health Engagement

DHA leaders bring expertise to DoD COVID-19 Lab Testing Task Force

Article
5/14/2020
Image of Gen. Payne speaking with a soldier

Testing a key next step in the coronavirus fight

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 33

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.