COVID-19 Isolation

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Isolation / Quarantine Information

This informational document is intended to provide guidance to individuals with a mild or suspected case of COVID-19 who do not need to be hospitalized and can receive care at home. This document also contains information for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers of these individuals.


Isolation and quarantine are both ways to limit interaction with others and prevent the spread of disease.

  • Isolation — Separating sick people from people who are not sick ﹣Individuals are separated for a period of time until they are no longer infectious
  • Quarantine — Separating individuals who may have been exposed to a contagious disease but haven’t been tested ﹣They are separated for a period of time to see if they get sick
General tips and recommendations

Wash hands

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Wash your hands especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom, or before eating or preparing food
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and other people with unwashed hands

Do not share

  • Do not share dishes, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets
  • After using personal items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean high touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables
  • Clean any surfaces that may come in contact with body fluids, blood, or stool
  • Use a household cleaning spray or wipes
  • Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have body fluids, blood, or stool on them

Call ahead before visiting your healthcare provider

  • If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19
  • Put on a facemask before you enter the facility
  • These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed 


The below information is for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Follow the prevention steps below until a healthcare provider or local / state health department official says you can return to your normal activities:

Stay home

  • Stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home
  • Restrict any activities outside your home, except for getting medical care
  • Avoid public areas, including work and school
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis

Cover your nose and mouth

  • If you are sick, wear a facemask when you are around other people or pets
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw away used tissues

Monitor your symptoms

  • Seek medical attention immediately if your symptoms get worse, especially if you experience any of the following:
    • Severe shortness of breath
    • Continuous pain or pressure in the chest
    • Persistent fever greater than 102°F 

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation until the risk of spreading the disease to others is low. The decision to discontinue home isolation should be made on a case-by-case basis with healthcare providers and local / state health department officials.


    The below information is for individuals without symptoms who have not been tested for COVID-19 but may have been exposed.

    If you have been potentially exposed to COVID-19, you should self-quarantine by staying home and limiting interaction with others for 14 days after possible exposure. To be safe, you should follow the prevention steps above. During this time period, you should monitor your symptoms closely to see if you get sick. If, after this period, you have still not developed any symptoms, you are not at risk of spreading the virus. Get tested or call your healthcare provider right away if you develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath).

      Information for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers

      The below information is for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers of a person who:

      • Has tested positive for COVID-19.
      • Does not have symptoms, has not been tested for COVID-19, and may have been exposed.


      Any individual that may have close contact with a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should follow these recommendations:

      Monitor your health

      Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath)

      Separate yourself

      • Household members should stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible
      • Use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if possible ○Limit visitors who do not need to be in the home
      • Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good airflow and ventilation

      Provide help and support

      • Help the patient follow their healthcare provider’s instructions
      • Help the patient with basic needs in the home, such as getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs
      • Help care for any pets in the home
      • Monitor the patient’s symptoms
      • If the patient is getting sicker, help them seek medical attention

      Keep facemasks and disposable gloves

      • The patient should wear a facemask when they are around other people
      • If the patient is not able to wear a facemask, you should wear a mask when you are in the same room as them
      • Wear a disposable facemask and gloves when you touch or have contact with the patient’s body fluids, such as saliva, mucus, blood, stool, vomit, or urine
      • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body
      • Throw out disposable facemasks and gloves after using and do not reuse them
      • Wash hands or use alcohol based hand sanitizer after removing gloves, and again after removing facemasks

      Discuss any additional questions with your healthcare provider or a local / state health department official.