Wash your hands

Quarantine & Isolation

Who needs to quarantine (stay home)?

Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Even if you previously had COVID-19 or you have taken a serologic (antibody) test and have antibodies to the virus – you still need to quarantine if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

What counts as close contact?

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Steps to Take

Stay home and monitor your health

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • Watch for fever (100.4 degrees), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19

Quarantine (stay home) FAQ

  1. What is the difference between quarantine and isolation? Quarantine is for people who have been exposed to COVID-19, but aren’t sick yet. Isolation is for people who are sick.
  2. What does close contact mean? Close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated.
  3. I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, what do I do?
    • Quarantine (stay at home) for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
    • Call your local health district to let them know
    • People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, and only leave your house if you have to get medical care.
      • If it is not possible to separate yourself from others within your home, wearing a mask and cleaning surfaces (phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops, and anything metal) regularly is recommended.
    • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Take your temperature and follow CDC guidance if you have symptoms.
  4. If I am in quarantine, do I need to be tested for COVID-19? Not everyone who has been around someone with COVID-19 needs to be tested, but they all need to stay home for 14 days. Your doctor will help to decide if you need to be tested, for example, if you have a medical condition a test may be important. Otherwise you need to quarantine (stay home) for a full 14 days. If you get sick while in quarantine with a fever, cough, have trouble breathing, muscle aches, sore throat, or a decrease in smell or taste – call a health care provider. You may need to be tested for COVID-19. If you do not get sick while in quarantine, you MUST finish the full 14 day time period for quarantine.
  5. Why do I need to write down my temperature and symptoms for 14 days? If you have been exposed to COVID-19, it may take up to 14 days to know if you will get sick. This does NOT mean you will get sick, but it is important to write down your temperature and symptoms every day, just in case you do.
  6. Can someone test negative and later test positive? Yes, it is possible. You may test negative if the sample was collected early in your infection and test positive later during this illness. You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and get infected then. Even if you test negative, and you were exposed, you still must quarantine for 14 days.
  7. If I test negative for COVID-19 and feel fine, can I stop my 14-day quarantine? Can I go back to work? No. A negative test does not mean you can return to work without stay home for the full 14 days. If your test is negative for COVID-19 and you have been told to quarantine because you had a known exposure to COVID-19, you must finish your 14-day quarantine. It takes up to 14 days to know if you will get sick.
  8. What should I do if I get sick or someone in my house gets sick? Most people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. CDC has directions for people who are recovering at home and their caregivers, including:
    • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
    • Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members (if possible).
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Provide your sick household member with clean disposable facemasks to wear at home, if available, to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.
    • Clean the sick room and bathroom, as needed, to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person.
    • However, some people may need emergency medical attention. Watch for symptoms and learn when to seek emergency medical attention.
  9. How do I know if I should go to the Emergency Room or not? Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately.
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Bluish lips or face
    • (This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.) Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
  10. Where can I find more information on COVID-19?

Information provided by the Butler County General Health District.