What is the purpose of quarantine?
Quarantine is used to keep someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, and monitor their health.

Who needs to quarantine?
People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

What is a close contact?
Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 10 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection).

How long to quarantine?
Our COVID-19 Case Managers make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Please follow our recommendations if you need to quarantine. Options considered when ending quarantine are listed below. When counting days of quarantine DAY ONE is the DAY AFTER your last exposure to the positive case.

  • After day 10 without testing
  • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)

After stopping quarantine, you should

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
  • If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider.
  • Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash their hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • If your exposure is a household contact or you have continued exposure, your quarantine may be extended.

CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. CDC will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed. See Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing for guidance on options to reduce quarantine.

When can someone be released from quarantine?
If no symptoms have developed by the end of your quarantine you may be released from quarantine. If your employer/school requires a letter of release from quarantine, please let us know or use our online contact form using the tab below. Please allow up to 3 business days for us to process and verify your request.

If you develop symptoms during your quarantine:
Please report your illness by calling your primary care provider; they may want you to consider getting tested.

Quarantine Guidelines for Close Contacts at Schools:
If masks were being worn by both the positive case and the close contact during the time of exposure, the close contact will be on partial quarantine. This means that the student/staff may leave the home during quarantine only to go to school, but will still be asked to refrain from any extra-curricular activities outside of the home/school.

Learn more about quarantine from the CDC by clicking here


Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home.


People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available). The quarantine time for your household contacts will be extended if they are unable to be isolated from you. Ensure you give the health department a list of all of your close contacts (within 6ft for more than 10 minutes up to 48 hours before you became symptomatic OR the day you got tested for COVID-19).

It is also important to isolate if you are having COVID-19 symptoms, but have not been tested.

Duration of isolation:
If you tested positive for COVID-19 or had COVID-19 symptoms, you can be with others after-

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication 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.**

Your isolation period may be extended if you have severe COVID-19 illness or are immunocompromised.

If you are asymptomatic (test positive with no symptoms):

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after:

  • 10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test

If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above.

Learn more about isolation from the CDC by clicking here