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My kids just came home from school/study abroad – should they be quarantined?

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How much they should be careful to ‘quarantine’ themselves on arriving home depends on how ‘out and about’ they’ve been.  If they’ve been hanging around lots of folks over the past few weeks and have been in areas with known COVID community transmission, it would be worthwhile for them to practice at least ‘semi-quarantine’ behavior – perhaps have someone who’s been sheltering in place more than they have serve them their food so they are not touching serving utensils during meal times, whip up a water with bleach spray (or use clorox wipes) for all communal surfaces several times a day, and if they develop any upper respiratory symptoms at all (fever or cough or sore throat) they do then need to fully quarantine themselves from others in the house (i.e. stay in their room, use a separate bathroom, etc. – see website for more details on how to do this).

Importantly, they really should shelter in place when arriving home.  This has been the most difficult for many of our teen patients, but we’ve seen that teenage and 20-somethings are the most common ‘spreaders’ of this infection because they develop few symptoms and thus don’t realize they’re spreading it to family and friends.