Isolation and Quarantine

Click here to request a letter for quarantine or isolation. 

Information for People In Isolation or Quarantine

Quarantine or isolation: What's the difference?

Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others.
Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home.

QUARANTINE: CLOSE CONTACT WITH COVID-19

Do I need to quarantine?

If you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and you’re not fully vaccinated and boosted or haven’t tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days by PCR or antigen test but not solely by antibody testing, you need to quarantine.

Who is a close contact?

A close contact is anyone who has been within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period with or without a mask. There are modified guidelines for K-12 schools, so please refer to your school administrators’ guidance in your specific situation. 

How do I quarantine?

If you’re not fully vaccinated and boosted, stay home for five days unless you need medical care. If in a K-12 setting, you can follow the school’s test-to-stay plan, if available. At the very least, in order to curb viral transmission in the community, if you are not able to quarantine, then wear a well-fitting mask for a full 10 days.   

Do I need to get tested?

If you develop symptoms, get tested and start isolating from others in your home. Isolate yourself by using a different bedroom and bathroom, if possible, wearing a well-fitting mask and disinfecting high-touch surfaces often. 

Does everyone in my home need to quarantine?

No. Only those with direct contact to someone with COVID-19 need to quarantine. If you’re a close contact and develop symptoms, or if the COVID-19 positive person is a member of your household, everyone in your home needs to quarantine.

If I test negative for COVID-19, do I need to quarantine? 

Yes. You should quarantine for five full days and continue to wear a mask for five more days after quarantining. 

If I’m fully vaccinated, have received all recommended boosters and don’t have symptoms, do I need to quarantine? 

No. But if symptoms develop, then isolate and get tested. 

If I’ve already had COVID-19, do I need to quarantine or get tested?

No. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days by PCR or antigen test but not solely by antibody testing, you do not need to quarantine following an exposure.

ISOLATION: COVID-19 SYMPTOMS AND POSITIVE TEST

Do I need to isolate? 

If you have symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, you need to isolate. 

How do I isolate?

Stay home for five days unless you need medical care. Stay in a separate bedroom and use a different bathroom than others in your home, if possible. Wear a well-fitting mask, wash your hands often and disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly. 

What else should I do?

Notify your close contacts. This includes anyone you’ve been within 6 feet of for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period with or without a mask. 

When am I contagious?

You’re contagious approximately 2 days before symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test and throughout your isolation period. 

When can I stop isolating?

You can stop isolating at home when ALL of these apply:

  • Five full days have passed since your symptoms started or five days after your test date if you don’t develop symptoms. You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask for five more days after isolating.
  • You’re fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol, aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Your other symptoms have definitely improved. 

Dos and Don'ts of Isolation and Quarantine

DO

  • Limit interaction with those around you. Stay in a separate room, like a bedroom, away from others in your home. Use a different bathroom if you can.
  • Wear a mask or cloth face covering. Make sure it covers your nose and mouth. Remember to stay 6 feet away from people and pets. People who are near you should also wear a mask or cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth.
  • Use meal or grocery delivery services when possible or ask family and friends for help.
  • Clean and disinfect things you touch, like light switches, doorknobs, tables and remotes.
  • Wash your hands often. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you do not have soap and water, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover cough and sneezes. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then wash your hands.
  • Consider people living with you. If you live with someone with health conditions, think about whether there are other places you can stay while you get well.

DON'T

  • Don’t leave home, unless you need medical care.
  • Don’t share personal items. Things like dishes, towels, and bedding should not be shared, even with family. 
  • Don’t use public transportation, if you have another choice.

If you need help with anything, including food, housing, clothing, or other life necessities while you are under isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, please call us at 1-800-815-5485.