As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout New York state and the communities surrounding West Point, the garrison’s emergency operations center has released a playbook defining quarantine and isolation measures for impacted community members.The playbook follows current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public health and Army guidance and outlines procedures for placing people into quarantine or self-isolation and then the processes for releasing them.All quarantine and isolation decisions are being handled by medical professionals at Keller Army Community Hospital.If West Point community or staff members believe they have been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is showing symptoms of the virus, they are required to self-quarantine and report the exposure through their chain of command.Maj. Matthew Schardt, garrison future operations officer for COVID-19, said exposure is defined as, “Prolonged contact, greater than 30 minutes. Close, intimate contact or any type of contact in which you weren’t able to maintain your social distance of six feet.”After self-reporting the exposure, you will be contacted by Keller and a medical professional will determine what level of risk you are and whether you should be placed in quarantine for 14 days.“If you are in quarantine, you’re asymptomatic,” Schardt said. “You are not showing any symptoms of COVID-19, but you’re taking a preventative measure to protect the rest of the community in order to slow or break the spread of the disease. If you’re in quarantine, for all practical purposes, you feel just fine.”During quarantine, you should avoid contact with anyone outside of your immediate household, but you are still allowed to do activities such as walking your dog and working out alone outside, Schardt said. At the conclusion of your 14-day quarantine period, a Keller representative will contact you again to determine whether you should be released.To be released, you must have been symptom free for at least seven days and had no fever for three days without the help of fever reducing medication.If you have symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, a dry cough or reduced respiratory function, you will be placed in self-isolation instead of quarantine. You will also be required to self-isolate if you test positive for the virus, even if you have no symptoms.“When you’re in isolation what we ask people to do is put themselves as much as possible into a single room, using a single bathroom, cut off from the rest of your family,” Schardt said. “When you’re in isolation status, you’re not going outside to walk the dog. You’re not doing PT. You’re as separated as humanly possible from others in the community because you’re demonstrating symptoms of COVID-19. You’re at a higher risk level for spreading the disease.”If you are placed in isolation because of symptoms, but never officially tested positive, you can be cleared by a Keller professional when you are currently asymptomatic, have had no symptoms for seven days, had no fever for three days and have seen an improvement of respiratory symptoms.If you tested positive for COVID-19, CDC guidance requires you to be cleared by two negative tests in a 24-hour period, along with meeting the criteria listed above.“The big takeaway is you don’t come off of quarantine or isolation status on your own accord,” Schardt said. “Each one of these is a very deliberate decision made by medical professionals throughout our community. That then is communicated through your chain of command to you before release. That’s a bit of a change in what’s been happening over the last couple of weeks.”Schardt added that they are constantly re-evaluating the processes related to quarantine and isolation and they will make updates as CDC, public health and Army guidelines require.If you have questions or think you should be in quarantine or isolation, contact your chain of command for further guidance.