What to Do: COVID-19 Exposure
Quarantine Best Practices
(If Vaccinated) Quarantine If:
- People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms.
- It is recommended that fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even with no symptoms.
- Wearing a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure is a best practice or until their test result is negative.
(If NOT Vaccinated) Quarantine If:
- You have been in close contact with someone (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period).
- Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
- Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
- Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
- If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
When to Shorten Your Quarantine:
- After day 10 without testing.
- The 7th day after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later).
Isolation Best Practices
Use Isolation When Diagnosed with COVID-19:
- People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others.
- In your home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available).
- Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
- Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
- Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
- Wear a mask when around other people if able.
When to End Isolation:
- Most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others.
- If your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results.
When You Can be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19
Most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others; however, if your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results.
I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms
You can be around others after:
- 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*
*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.
Note that these recommendations do not apply to people with severe COVID-19 or with weakened immune systems (immunocompromised).
I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms
If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19.
If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above for “I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms.”