UPDATED: The CDC now recommends wearing a cloth face mask when out of the home. It is believed that this will prevent people with asymptomatic COVID-19 from spreading the disease. Here is the CDC guidance on when and how to wear masks.
Isolation-means to separate those infected (either with or without symptoms) from those who are healthy. This action should begin once you start to feel symptoms and/or test positive and should end once you are no longer presenting any symptoms. Current health standards recommend a 10-day isolation since symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours since any signs of symptoms have passed without the use of medication.
Quarantine- means to separate those potentially infected from those who are healthy. Unlike isolation, quarantine focuses on contacts (people who may have been in the presence of a case). A person should quarantine if they have come in close proximity for more than 15 minutes with someone who tests positive. Current health standards recommend a 14-day quarantine protocol.
Putting physical distance between yourself and other people. This means avoiding groups of people (parties, crowds on sidewalks, lines in a store) and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.This is key to flattening the curve.
When a patient is a carrier of an illness but does not show symptoms. People are thought to be most contagious for COVID-19 when they are most symptomatic, according to the CDC, although researchers are still investigating how its spread might be possible at other times, including during the incubation period (called “pre-symptomatic transmission”) and even after symptoms have resolved.
This refers to a sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease, above what is typically expected in a particular area. COVID-19 is thought to have reached epidemic proportions in China in mid-January.
A pandemic is defined as “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people”. The classical definition includes nothing about population immunity, virology or disease severity.