Coronavirus outbreak: What’s the difference between screening, testing and quarantine

With news of the coronavirus spreading in Georgia and throughout the United States, you may be wondering how to determine what actions need to be taken for you and your family.

Here are a few answers to common coronavirus concerns:


What’s the difference between screening and testing?

For individuals who are displaying any of the symptoms directly related to the coronavirus — including fever, dry cough or shortness of breath — the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control recommends undergoing testing.

A screening is conducted on a healthy individual who is not displaying symptoms of the virus but who may have been exposed to the virus, according to the CDC.

» RELATED: What is social distancing? As coronavirus spreads, here's what health experts say

What does it mean to quarantine, self-quarantine, or to engage in social-distancing?

The CDC previously reported that a quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. "In addition to serving as medical functions, isolation and quarantine also are 'police power' functions, derived from the right of the state to take action affecting individuals for the benefit of society," reads the CDC website.

Self-quarantine is for the large numbers of healthy people who may fall sick following possible exposure. It involves staying home and avoiding contact with others until the time period between exposure and showing symptoms ends, which according to the CDC is 14 days.

» RELATED: Coronavirus: When you should self-quarantine and how

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported that the CDC has advised people to begin practicing “social distancing.” Dr. Anthony Fauci with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CBS News that social distancing means “trying to keep yourself away from other people, especially large crowds.” That includes at work, school and social events.

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