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How do you self-quarantine while traveling

Bunk

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My DD is moving to Charlotte. She and I are driving a rented van at the end of April and I am planning on flying back after spending one or two nights in her apartment in Charlotte. The jackass who flew from JFK to PBI while awaiting for the results of his coronavirus test (which turned out to be positive) caused me to think of some of the things that could go wrong about finding out you have the virus or that you have been exposed to someone who has the virus when you are away from home.

First, where do you self-quarantine? Will a hotel register a guest who has the virus or who has been exposed to the virus? Will a hospital admit all patients that have the virus? What about being exposed to someone who has the virus? Are there any government facilities that are set up for self-quarantine away from home.

Second, does health insurance or travel insurance cover the cost of self-quarantine? I assume that health insurance or Medicare would cover the cost of medical treatment for people who have the virus, but would it cover the cost of hospitalization if that is not required. What about the cost of self-quarantine due to possible exposure to the virus, when you have not yet been found to be sick.

Third, can you get back home during the self-quarantine? I assume the airlines will not allow you to fly on a plane if you have coronavirus. But what if you've been exposed to someone who has the virus? If you have your own car, is it ethical to drive home or be driven home if you are able to avoid contact with other people.

Fourth, what if you've been exposed to someone who has been exposed to someone who has the virus? Is that grounds for self-quarantine.

Fifth, if you've been exposed to a person who has the virus, does it make any sense to take the test within the 14 day incubation period. What would it mean if the test comes back negative but you are within the 14 day period.

Sixth, what is there a protocol for what a hotel is to do if a person staying at that hotel has the virus?
 

Passepartout

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I would say that it's simply a common sense thing. If you're sick, don't go out. That simple. If you knowingly have been exposed, exercise self-quarantine. Wear a face mask to (hopefully) reduce the chance that you will infect others. Stay several feet from others. Wash hands often. It would be unfair to go to a hotel without first clearing that you had been exposed. They would be well within their rights to refuse you entrance. Since there are such a small number of tests available, you can't just go to a clinic and demand to be tested. It doesn't work that way- and won't for some time. Even with the much crowed about 'half million tests' available next week- there are 300 million Americans, so that makes one test available for each 600 people.

In short, there IS no protocol. Don't travel unless absolutely necessary- especially if you are from or go through a virus 'hot spot', like NYC. This thing is still evolving, So follow CDC guidelines.

Wishing you well!

Jim
 

DaveNV

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I agree with Jim. You can only do so much. In your situation, presume you HAVE been exposed, and take precautions. Social Distancing is a valid way to reduce the risk of contagion. Wipe down all common surfaces, and avoid touching anything unnecessarily. (Difficult to do, I know.) There can be no real guarantees you won't catch it - you can only reduce your risk of catching it.

Dave
 

turkel

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Hospital’s don’t admit people who aren’t sick.

It sounds like your VERY concerned about this scheduled trip. Can someone else accompany your daughter? Can she go alone? Can you just drive home?

You’ll have to decide to do what you think is best for you. Good luck.
 

bnoble

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Is there a way to defer the move? If you can, that's what I would do. My Mom snowbirds down in Florida, and is due to drive back to Michigan around April 10th or so. I've encouraged her to stay down another month.
 

isisdave

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Most of your questions come down to "how can I appear, or convince myself, that I'm in (self-) quarantine when I'm really not."

"Quarantine" means to isolate yourself and avoid any interaction with others. This rules out hospitals, daughters, restaurants, some hotels, and certainly airplanes and any other form of public transportation.

If there were a need to quarantine yourself in Charlotte, you'd have to do it in DD's house, or a hotel.

Are you going from NYC? It's a 10-hour drive to Charlotte. You and she can do it in one day. Coming back by yourself, I'd spend a night halfway. If only spending one night in Charlotte, consider driving the van back; you'll get a better rate. Otherwise, rent a one-way car rental.

Why put yourself through two airports and a pressurized aluminum Petri dish if you don't have to?

With regard to "Fifth:" Because there really are no tests available yet, there is little guidance on when to test. If you KNOW when you were exposed, I'd think about 6 days later if you don't have symptoms. It could be falsely negative at this point, though. If you don't know WHEN you were exposed, you probably don't know for sure that your WERE exposed, and in that case I wouldn't worry or test unless I got sick.

Now, just to amplify things: the above is the advice I'd offer to someone under 60 who was traveling soon. If you're over 60, have any underlying illnesses, or smoke, I'd tell you to do what everyone in the public health sector would: Stay the heck home, and tell DD to get a girlfriend to help. Frankly, by the end of April, things won't be the same. I think they'll be much worse, and the answer will be clear. There will be some testing then, but who will get it is still unclear.
 
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