Health Advice



A short guide to quarantining after holiday travel

By Jessica Roy, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Health & Fitness

If you traveled over the Thanksgiving holiday, it's time to go into quarantine.

Specifically, if you went out of state, California has issued a travel advisory recommending that you quarantine for 14 days. If you had prolonged exposure to anyone outside of your household or existing pandemic pod, it's a good idea to self-quarantine as well.

Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, a professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and former director of the division of communicable disease control and prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said people should think of quarantine as the middle position between isolation (what you do when you know you are infected) and "normal" pandemic life (where you might venture outdoors while masked and maintaining social distance).

Sometimes, when you see or hear a word a lot, it starts to lose its meaning. Such is the case with "quarantine." Here's a very short FAQ about what you need to be doing to appropriately self-quarantine.

Q. What does it mean to self-quarantine?

A. Stay at home, in your home, without going anywhere else or seeing anyone from outside your household, for 14 days.


The whole point of quarantining is to sequester yourself so that if you are infected, you do not infect anyone else. Take the phrase "stay at home" literally.

Q. What if I need something essential, like food or medicine?

A. If you absolutely need something, have it delivered. To avoid potentially infecting the delivery person, have them leave your package outside your closed front door, wait for them to leave, and wear a mask when you open your door to pick it up. Tip well.

Q. What if I really need to leave the house to do something else?


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