Effective March 12, 2022, quarantine has been paused for the general population, including K-12 and childcare settings. This means that quarantine is no longer recommended within the general population for exposure to someone who has COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status. Quarantine will still be required in high-risk settings, including health care settings, jails and prisons, and shelters.
Isolation guidelines for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have symptoms will remain the same. Individuals with COVID-19 should still isolate from others for five days from onset of symptoms or a positive test. If you need resources to isolate at home, there is help available at this page.
What to do if you’ve tested positive for, or are showing symptoms of, COVID-19
Frequently Asked Questions
It is recommended. If an infected person has access to testing and wants to get tested, the best method would be to use an antigen test toward the end of their five-day isolation period. If the test is positive, isolated people are advised to continue their isolation until 10 days after their symptoms started. If the test is negative, isolated people can end their isolation but are advised to wear a mask around other people until day 10. Please do not use the emergency room solely to obtain a test if you are not needing urgent medical care.96211
Yes. The recommendation to pause quarantine does apply to K-12 and childcare settings. Isolation guidelines will remain the same.96211
No. This guidance applies to the general population in the community setting and does not replace existing guidance for healthcare personnel in healthcare settings.96211
- Children < 2 years of age, or other individuals who are unable to wear a mask.
- People who cannot wear a mask, including children < 2 years of age and people of any age with certain disabilities, should isolate (if infected) for 10 days.
- People who have moderate illness — people who have moderate COVID-19 illness and symptoms lasting longer than 5 days should isolate until at least 24 hours have passed without fever and no use of fever-reducing medications, and other symptoms improved.
- People with severe COVID-19 illness (e.g., requiring hospitalization, intensive care, or ventilation support) should isolate for at least 10 days and may need to isolate longer after symptom onset. They should consult with their healthcare provider to determine the appropriate duration of isolation.
- People who are immunocompromised — this guidance is not intended for people who are immunocompromised who might have a longer infectious period.
No. After your 5 days of isolation end, you should continue to wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home and in public for another 5 days.96211
Strategies include the following: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a well-fitting mask in public indoor settings, stay at home if you are sick, thoroughly wash hands, maintain physical distancing, sanitize high-touch surfaces, and consider all risks before you gather. Vaccination is the most effective, safest way to prevent illness.96211
Do you have an isolation plan if you or someone in your household becomes sick? Isolation can be daunting for someone who’s just tested positive for COVID-19; planning ahead may help reduce the anxiety of this stressful situation.
If someone is ill or told to isolate themselves, the first step is to move them away from the other members of your household. A spare bedroom with an attached bathroom is the best option, but if this is not a possibility, any bedroom will work. During isolation, the isolated individual should not be permitted to leave their room and no one else should enter their room.
You may find the following items helpful if someone in your home is in isolation:
- Paper towels
- Cleaning supplies
- Face masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Cough drops
- Feminine hygiene products (if needed)
- Personal medications
- A logbook for symptoms
Designate one family member to care for the sick person. Anybody entering or leaving the sick person’s room should wear a mask.
Remember, the infected person should have no visitors.
Continue good hygiene practices such as:
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your face
- Disinfect high-touch items such as doorknobs, phones, game controllers, etc.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as bedding, towels or dishes
- Open windows to increase ventilation
What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
- Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
- Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
Identifying Close Contacts
A close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of a confirmed or presumptive COVID-19 case for 15 or more minutes in a 24-hour period during the case’s infectious period. The 15 minutes are cumulative, and do not have to be consecutive. Anyone who may have had direct contact with infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on) of a confirmed of presumptive COVID-19 case is also considered a close contact. Members of the general public do not need to quarantine if they were within close contact of someone who was in close contact to a COVID-19 case.