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Self-Quarantine Instructions for Individuals Exposed to COVID-19

What you need to know if you’ve had close contact with someone with COVID-19

Why self-quarantine? If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should stay home and apart from others (self-quarantine) because you may be infected and could spread the disease, even if you never feel sick. ANYONE who experiences COVID-19 symptoms should immediately self-isolate and get tested, even if they are vaccinated. COVID-19 symptoms can feel like a common cold (including just “the sniffles”), seasonal allergies, or flu (e.g., fever, cough, runny nose, body aches).

How long should I self-quarantine? If you’ve had no symptoms, you may end quarantine after 10 days from your last contact with an infected person OR after 7 days if you test negative (only if you were tested 5 days or longer from last contact).* You should still monitor yourself for symptoms and take recommended precautions (e.g., wear a mask, physically distance) for 14 days from last contact.

What if I have been vaccinated or had COVID-19 before? If you’ve had COVID-19 within the last three months OR if you were fully vaccinated at the time of your contact, you do not need to quarantine as long as you’ve had no symptoms.* You should monitor yourself to watch for symptoms and take recommended precautions (e.g., wear a mask, physically distance) for 14 days from your last contact with someone with COVID-19. If you were fully vaccinated, you should get tested 3-5 days after your last contact.

How do I self-quarantine? Stay home except to get medical care; do not have any visitors. If you must be in a shared space:
• Stay at least 6 feet from other people, especially those more likely to get sick.
• Wear a mask when around others. Cover your coughs and sneezes.
• Open windows and doors to increase ventilation, when possible and safe to do so.
• Use a separate bathroom if possible.
• Wash your hands often; if you can’t wash, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Clean or disinfect any surfaces you touch frequently.

Should I get tested for COVID-19 during self-quarantine? Yes, you should get tested immediately when told you may have been exposed to COVID-19, even if you have no symptoms. If you test negative, you should test again 5–7 days after your last contact with someone with COVID19. Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should get tested right away. COVID testing in California is free to anyone who needs it. You can book a free test appointment, find a walk-in test clinic, or buy a self-test kit from your local drugstore. Find a testing site online or call (833) 422-4255 or 211.

What should I do if I start to have symptoms? Immediately isolate yourself from others and get tested. Contact your healthcare provider with questions about your symptoms or care and alert them if you are in a high-risk group.

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