What are you required to do during a self-quarantine?

Hundreds of people in New York have self-quarantined during the novel coronavirus outbreak. Doing so means they have to abide by some state-mandated rules.

"When we're self-quarantining, we have to stay away from our family members," Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, told FOX 5 NY via Skype.

Gostin, the director of World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, described self-quarantining as a social contract: We agree to stay away from the public for the greater good and our government agrees to take care of us, especially if we're not white-collar professionals with stocked pantries and fridges and the ability to telecommute to work.

"If you're poor or homeless or somebody who's a working-class person, you can't do that," Gostin said.

The professor said he agreed with Gov. Andrew Cuomo who mandated that local health departments provide daily in-person and digital checks on those self-quarantining to ensure they are following the rules. Those rules include remaining in their homes, staying separated from family members or roommates, not sharing bathrooms, not using common stairways or elevators, not coming within six feet of members of the public, and not sharing meals with others.

"Have somebody put a tray behind the door and then leave and then pick it up," Gostin said.

Cuomo also tasked local health departments with ensuring those quarantined had food, reading material, internet access, spiritual guidance, and company.

"But that's going to become so difficult when you've got thousands of, tens of thousands of New Yorkers that are in their home," Gostin said. "We need a plan for that and we need funding for it."


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