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Stay Home/Work Safe Order Issued for Harris County

Social Distancing. Isolation. Quarantine.

These are words we are hearing frequently in the news these days. We know our daily behaviors play an integral role in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but what is the difference between the three? Most importantly, when is the right time to practice each of them?

Social Distancing

Social distancing should be practiced by everyone, whether or not you’ve been exposed to the virus. This broad set of measures includes:

  •  Avoiding hand-shakes and crowds
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from people and
  • (most importantly) staying at home if you feel sick


A diagnosis of COVID-19 triggers isolation. Isolation is for those people who are already sick and serves to keep the infected away from healthy people in order to stop the spread of the virus.


Quarantines are put on groups and communities to separate and restrict the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

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