Healthy Living

COVID-19 Social Distancing vs. Quarantining vs. Isolation

Woman wearing mask on street

What is social distancing?

Social distancing applies to everyone. It is the limiting of people in groups. Ways to practice social distancing include:

  • Working from home
  • Schooling online
  • Visiting loved ones virtually
  • Cancelling or postponing events and large meetings

When should I quarantine?

If you have had contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should be confined to your residence or other location to prevent the chance of spreading the disease to others. Note, this also applies to those who do not show any symptoms. Perform self-monitoring temperature checks twice per day to share with your health care provider. During quarantine, you should:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid sharing towels and utensils
  • Stay at home
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other people in your household

When is isolation appropriate?

A person will go into isolation if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 but are well enough to be discharged from the hospital. They are confined to their home or other location to prevent the spread of the disease. Perform self-monitoring temperature checks twice per day to share with health care provider.

Learn more at and Free COVID-19 screenings are available online by visiting

About the author

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.