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Doctor breaks down self-quarantine concept

People under self-quarantine do not have to stay at home, but do have to stay away from people.

San Antonio – A San Antonio doctor is breaking down the concept of what it means to be under self-quarantine while reminding residents about the use of common sense during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Fred Campbell, with UT Health San Antonio, said social distancing is critically important during this time.

“It is very serious to undertake social distancing and common sense,” Campbell said. “Social distancing may make the difference between the COVID-19 virus overwhelming our health care system in the United States and being able to handle any serious cases that we have.”

He said when people voluntarily go under self-quarantine, they must maintain staying away from people.

“It is a voluntary method of making sure you don’t transmit COVID-19 to someone else who is particularly a high-risk person, like an elderly individual or someone with a low immune system,” Campbell said.

He said to be cautious during your self-quarantine, especially if you have been to another country where COVID-19 is prevalent or if you are experiencing symptoms.

“The way one can assist in the self-quarantine effort is maybe one family member goes out as seldom as possible to pick up things like food and other needed items, and not having an entire group or family going out to do those things. That and use common sense ways to decrease exposure,” Campbell said.

Campbell said a person who is under self-quarantine doesn’t have to stay locked up inside their homes 100% of the time.

“Most people who have not had a definite exposure to someone who has been positive for COVID-19 can go out and walk their dogs, bike and do other activities that don’t involve close contact with other people,” he said.

He said even people who live with someone under self-quarantine have little to worry about.

“If that person has not developed any symptoms of COVID-19 — like cough, fever or shortness of breath — then you would be at very low risk being a secondary exposure, so the likelihood of you needing to self-quarantine is very, very low,” Campbell said.

He added the best thing people can do should they come in contact with someone under self-quarantine is just to keep their distance.

“We have been doing great as a community,” Campbell said. “That means that people are paying attention to very basic things, like cleaning their hands and avoiding coughing or sneezing on other people and trying to maintain a proper distance.”

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

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