What do I do if I test positive?
If you test positive for COVID-19 on either a rapid antigen or PCR test, you are required to self-isolate – whether you are vaccinated or not.
Days to Isolate:
Day 0: this is the first day of symptoms OR day the positive test was taken, whichever is earlier
Days 1-4: continue to isolate
Day 5, last day of isolation if asymptomatic or symptoms are improving. If you still have a fever, or your symptoms are not improving OR you cannot wear a mask at all times, you must continue to isolate for an additional 5 days. If your symptoms are not resolving on Day 5 then you should continue to isolate until your symptoms are resolving or through Day 10.
Day 6: keep isolating if you have a fever.
Day 6: leave isolation if you are able to wear a mask at all times when around other people, including in your household, through day 10. You may remove your mask prior to day 10 if you:
a) have two negative rapid tests 48 hours apart*, with the first test being on day 6 or later, AND
b) have been fever-free for more than 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications prior to your first rapid antigen test.
*If either test is positive, you should continue to mask around others and continue to test every 48 hours, and may remove your mask after two sequential negative tests.
Reminder: Some people need to isolate longer (if your symptoms have not improved/resolved, if you are severely immunocompromised).
After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms come back or worsen, re-start your isolation at Day 0.
- Do not leave your home, except to get medical care or emergency dental care.
- Do not visit public areas. Self-isolation means separating yourself from others to keep your germs from spreading.
- Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals who test positive should avoid people who are at high risk of severe disease for 10 days.
What do I do if I have been exposed to COVID?
First: To better gauge exposure and risk of transmission, read these infographics from the CDC HERE. If multiple factors show that you have higher transmission risk, you should follow the steps for what to do when you are exposed.
Next, regardless of your vaccination status or if you had a previous COVID infection:
Exposure = Day 0
Day 1- Day 10: Mask for a full 10 days after exposure
- Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask, including travel
- Take extra precautions around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
Day 6 or later: Get tested. Negative tests may need to be repeated.
- Had COVID in the last 90 days? Use rapid antigen tests. You should still test unless you had COVID fewer than 30 days ago and are asymptomatic.
- You may end masking early if you have two negative rapid antigen tests 48 hours apart, with the first test on Day 6 or later. If you test positive, isolate immediately and follow isolation guidelines.
What should someone do who develops symptoms after they are exposed to someone with COVID-19?
Whenever anyone has symptoms of COVID they should isolate themselves away from others and get tested. If a COVID-19 test is negative, they should stay home until they feel better. If symptoms persist, they should consider repeating an antigen test in 24-48 hours to ensure they do not have COVID. If they test positive at any time, they must isolate following current guidance and notify those they may have exposed.
I want to take steps to prepare for Isolation or Quarantine, just in case. What do I need to do?
Prepare your home:
- If possible, isolate sick individual in a separate bedroom and bathroom.
- Have a separate and lined trash for the person with COVID-19.
- Find someone to be the primary caretaker. Find someone to be a back-up caretaker.
- Review tips from the CDC for how to care for someone with COVID-19 at home and protect yourself from the virus.
Prepare your COVID-19 Care Kit:
- Hand soap, hand sanitizer, household disinfectants and other cleaning supplies.
- Protective gloves, extra face coverings, tissues, and spare trash bags.
- Medicine, fever reducers with acetaminophen.
- Get a Primary Care Physician for you and your family.
- Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, healthcare providers, employers, Local Health Departments, and other community resources.
Where can I find out more about isolation and quarantine?
If you need additional help or information, here are some online resources that are available to you.
- More on how to isolate safely and effectively
- Multi-language access to isolation and quarantine tips
- Where to find food assistance