With COVID numbers increasing, preparing for a last-minute quarantine is necessary


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46) – “I knew there would be a quarantine somewhere, at some point in life,” said Stephanie Jenkins.

It’s a reality that is as blunt as it is sobering, and it’s something Jenkins has been dealing with since last week, becoming a COVID breakthrough case.

“Thankfully, I’m fully vaccinated, so my symptoms are mild,” she said.  “Thankfully, I have congestion in the sinus area, and it feels just like a really bad.”

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Jenkins is representative of a growing trend: COVID cases both locally and nationally have increased, and the numbers are four times larger than last year, a first-time quarantine and isolation is possible.

Luckily, Jenkins’s family had a plan.

“My husband came up with a plan if either one of us got sick. That plan was to isolate the one that got sick in the master bedroom, because it has a bathroom, as well.”

That was at the top of Jenkins’ list, but it also included a few other things as well that have either been implemented or considered since the start of the pandemic. 

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Health officials said a plan may be necessary because exposure and quarantine notifications can happen at a moment’s notice.

“The number one question we’ve been getting from parents is, ‘if my child has to quarantine and they can’t go to school, what do I do with them?’,” said Autumn Watson with the Mecklenburg County Dept. of Public Health.

Her answer to those questions often involves having things ready for children to keep them stimulated.  However, in general, for anyone, there are tips.

“Be sure you have your basic medical supplies. Thermometers on hand, fever-reducing medications, masks that you and your children can wear within the household to minimize exposure,” said Watson.

Other things to consider:

A list of emergency contacts if COVID cases get worse.
A plan of action if there is a need to quarantine, up to and including having supplies at the ready for you or your family, and plans for getting essential items
In the plan of action, include friends, family, work, and–if applicable–your child’s school.
Know where to get tested in case you are exposed.
Writing down symptoms.
Having chargers for electronic devices, in case you have to quarantine or isolate for extended periods.

Jenkins said quarantining and isolating is very much like the stay-at-home orders people were placed under last year at the beginning of the pandemic, with one exception.

“I’m stuck in the bedroom,” she said.


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