Protect Your Household
Call the COVID-19 resource line at 503-846-8123 if you still need assistance after reading this page and watching the video above.
Multnomah, Clackamas, Columbia and Washington counties put together this comprehensive guide to help people who have been tested for COVID-19. The document includes information on isolation and quarantine, what you can and can't do, how to tell close contacts you tested positive, telling your employer, ways to manage respiratory symptoms at home, how to stop the spread of germs, using a face covering properly and more.
09/15/2021 UPDATED QUARANTINE GUIDANCE: Public Health updated the guide with this shorter two-page summary.
- If you've been exposed to COVID-19 seek testing, whether or not you've been vaccinated.
- If you have symptoms, seek testing immediately. If you don't have symtpoms, wait at least 3 days after your COVID-19 exposure.
- While awaiting test results, assume you are positive, stay home and away from other people. If you need to be within 6 feet of someone else, wear your mask even when you are at home.
- Make a list of your close contacts. Close contacts are people you've spent 15 or more minutes with and have been within 6 feet, with or without a mask.
- If you test positive isolate at home for 10 days and notify your close contacts right away.
- If you test negative and are fully vaccinated you do not need to quarantine, but monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days. If you develop symptoms, get another test.
- If you test negative and are not fully vaccinated you must quarantine at home for at least 10 days, 14 days is safest.
Stay home and away from others to prevent virus spread
Watch the video above for helpful information to prevent virus spread in the home, including:
- What to do if you can't easily separate from others
- How to care for an ill person in the home
If you test positive for COVID-19, have symptoms of the virus, or have been in close contact (six feet for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has the virus, stay home and separated from other people, even those in your immediate household. The CDC has a helpful website that explains what to do if you are sick, when to isolate and quarantine, and how to care for someone with COVID-19. You can also download the handbook above and watch our video for more guidance.
How long should I quarantine?
If you not fully vaccinated and have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, a 14-day quarantine is the safest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- We recommend a minimum 10-day quarantine for all unvaccinated people exposed to COVID-19, even when you don't have symptoms. There is a small but significant chance of transmission on days 11-14, so it is important to continue to monitor for symptoms for a full 14 days. Some employers may still require a 14-day quarantine, so please check with your workplace. Students should check with their school regarding the school policy.
- Though not recommended by local public health, you may also end quarantine at day 7 if you have a negative COVID-19 test on days 5 through 7 of quarantine. ( This must be antigen or PCR test.) This shortened quarantine has the highest likelihood of passing COVID-19 to others because a negative test on day 5-7 does not guarantee that you will not become ill after day 7. It is very important that you isolate yourself right away if symptoms develop and contact your health care provider.
Monitor your symptoms
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness gets worse (e.g., difficulty breathing). Tell the 9-1-1 operator that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a face covering before emergency medical services arrive. If you have a medical appointment, call the health care provider and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
How long should I isolate:
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 you should isolate at home, separating from members of your household, staying in a separate room if possible and using a separate bathroom if you have one. You can leave home after it has been:
- 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*
If you had no symptoms, you can end isolation 10 days after the date you tested positive for COVID-19.
*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation. For more information, see the CDC website.