COVID-19 or Coronavirus? Isolation or Quarantine? What Does It All Mean?

Trouble understanding talk of the virus? Here’s a primer

Coronavirus versus COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses common in people and some animals. COVID-19, an abbreviation of coronavirus disease 2019, is a new (novel) strain of coronavirus detected in Wuhan, China, in November. It has spread to many nations, including the United States.

Isolation versus Quarantine

Isolation separates sick people from people who are not sick.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who are exposed to a contagious condition to see if they become sick.

COVID-19 Vaccine

There is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat the virus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC is an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It conducts scientific research and provides health information to protect the nation from dangerous health threats and respond to incidents, such as the spread of COVID-19, when they arise.

State of Local Emergency

The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group, comprised of three county commissioners, the mayors from the cities of Plant City, Tampa, and Temple Terrace, the sheriff, and chairman of the Hillsborough County School Board, declares a State of Local Emergency and authorizes the county administrator to carry out emergency directives. This includes taking whatever action is needed to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community.

Epidemic versus Pandemic

An epidemic is an increase in cases of a disease above what normally is expected in a given area.
A pandemic is an epidemic that has spread across multiple countries or continents.

Presumptive Positive Test

A presumptive positive test result is when a local public or commercial lab result confirms the virus is present, but the specimen is retested by a second laboratory to confirm the result.  

Social Distancing

Steps taken by public health officials to stop or deter the spread of a contagious disease. Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others when possible.  

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Get Connected. Stay Alert.
For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the region, visit and sign up for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates.