Isolation and Quarantine
Information for People In Isolation or Quarantine
Quarantine or isolation: What's the difference?
Who needs to quarantine?
People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.
What is Quarantine?
When a person who is not sick is told to stay home because they have been exposed to someone who is sick.
- Quarantine usually lasts 14 days. The local health department will tell them when it is safe to leave home. *With newly released options for reducing quarantine, this timeframe may be shortened to 10 days.
- If a person develops symptoms of COVID-19 during quarantine they will be told to isolate and get tested.
What counts as close contact?
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
- You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
- They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
*NEW CDC UPDATE: Options to reduce quarantine*
Based on the evaluation of the CDC information, MDHHS and BCHD are updating guidance to specify that the post COVID-19 exposure quarantine period for residents can be modified to 10 days. People have an opportunity to reduce that to 10 days provided that:
- The individual does not develop any symptoms or clinical evidence of COVID-19 infection during daily symptom monitoring for the 10 days after the last exposure; and,
- Daily symptom monitoring continues through day 14 after the last exposure.
Please note: The 14-day option most greatly mitigates the possibility of post-quarantine transmission and continues to be the 'gold standard' for reducing risk to others at present.
Who needs to isolate?
People who have COVID-19:
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19 and are able to recover at home
- People who have no symptoms (are asymptomatic) but have tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2
What is Isolation?
When a person who is sick, is asked to stay home and limit interactions with others, even people they live with. This includes anyone who:
Dos and Don'ts of Isolation and Quarantine
- 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 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.
Resources and More information
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.