Isolation & Quarantine

Note: There are limited COVID-19 medication options to prevent or treat illness.  These may be available if you have certain medical conditions or are at high risk of contact with someone with COVID-19.  Some treatments must be given as soon as possible after a positive test result.

Isolation

CDC has recently updated isolation recommendations. The time that people must stay away from others (isolation) is now shorter if they have no symptoms or are only mildly ill. The isolation time is now at least five days, followed by another five days of wearing a mask at all times when around other people. 

If you feel sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms, you should get tested right away.  Stay home and way from others while you wait for you test result or if you have not ebeen tested.  Be sure to wear a well-fitting mask around others, even in your home, and wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If a lab test shows a negative result for the virus, but you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay home until your symptoms are better and you do not have a fever. COVID-19 symptoms can be a lot like symptoms of other illnesses.

If you test positive, you should stay home and way from others (isolate) for at least five days after your symptoms started or from the date you tested positive if you do not have symptoms, even if you are fully vaccinated.   You can spread COVID-19 to others beginning a couple days before you have any symptoms, and even if you never have any symptoms. Be sure to wear a well-fitting mask around others, even in your home, and wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If possible, stay in a separate room from other household members and use a separate bathroom. Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.  Notify your close contacts, including people who are fully vaccinated, that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Who Needs to Quarantine

 If you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19, you need to quarantine if:

For everyone who needs to quarantine

  • Stay at home for at least five full days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19. Refer to the MDH site, which have more specific information about how long you must quarantine.
    • Count your last day of close contact with someone with COVID-19 as day zero.
    • Day one starts the day after your last close contact.
  • If possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home.
    • Use a separate bathroom if you can.
    • Avoid sharing personal household items (e.g., food, dishes, towels, or bedding).
  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing (such as Uber or Lyft), or taxis.

 Who does not need to quarantine

 If you have had a close contact with someone with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine if:

After exposure to the virus, you should still:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days when around others, even at home. The 10 days start from the day after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19. The actual day of close contact is counted as day zero.
  • Watch for symptoms for 10 days after close contact.
    • If symptoms develop, stay home and away from others (isolate) and test immediately for COVID-19. Start counting again from day zero (day one is the first full day after your symptoms start) and follow isolation recommendations at If You Are Sick or Test Positive. This includes people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three months, even if they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.

 If you are up to date on vaccinations

  • Get tested at least five days after close contact. If you test positive, start counting again from day zero and follow isolation recommendations at If You Are Sick or Test Positive.

Timeline for those not needing to quarantine showing 10 days with a mask and getting tested on day 5, watch for symptoms

If you had COVID-19 in the past three months:

  • You do not need to get tested at five days after close contact if you do not have symptoms.

Timeline for those not needing to quarantine showing 10 days with a mask and watch for symptoms

 Additional Resources: