Here’s what New Yorkers can and can’t do while in quarantine

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Lines at Costco in Sunset Park stretched around the corner as people with fears of being forced to quarantine lined up for food and paper goods to withstand the 14 day potential waiting period. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

As New York State goes on a formal pause that temporarily prohibits all but essential services, it is important to understand what can and can’t do in a state of quarantine while healthy. 

For starters, being in quarantine is different than being in self-isolation — that term is reserved for those who are already sick and should not be making public appearances routinely, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Those who are sick have been advised by New York State to only leave home for medical appointments following a telehealth meeting, in which medical professionals deemed it in that individual’s best interest. Under a state of quarantine, leaving your home and going outside is acceptable, but within the context of using good judgment. 

“Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people,” according to a recent NYS release.

If you want to go on that run or have to go shopping,  just make sure you’re not coming in contact with anyone to the best of your ability. Otherwise, groups of people should only come together if they’re providing essential services. 

Even if working for one of the listed essential services, there is a requirement to maintain a social distancing protocol. That means remaining at least six feet away from others at all times. It is also advised to limit and avoid using public transit when possible if you are riding then do what you can to also remain six feet away from fellow passengers. 

Young people are asked to avoid populations that are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, such as the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions. 

Houses of worship are not mandated to close, though it is advised for congregative services to not be held at this time. Any non-essential gatherings like parties or other social events have been ordered canceled by the state of New York until further notice. Otherwise, it is in your best interest to stay at home and self-monitor.

Even New York City acknowledged that staying home for extended lengths could cause you to feel “sad, anxious or overwhelmed, or have other symptoms of distress, such as trouble sleeping,” according to February release from the health department. 

If feeling any mental health distress while confined to your home, NYC advises you to call 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355) or text “WELL” to 65173 to speak with a mental health professional. 

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