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.
Handbook: COVID-19, After You Get Tested
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.
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?
A 14-day quarantine is the safest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. You may quarantine for a minimum of 10 days if you have no symptoms, but 14 days is best. After 10 days, your risk of spreading the virus to others goes down. There is still a small chance you can get sick and spread COVID-19 to others during days 11-14, even if you felt well on day 10.
You are required to quarantine for 14 days if you live in a long-term care facility or other licensed group setting.
A shorter quarantine isn’t for everyone. You should stick to a 14-day quarantine if someone in your house has COVID-19 or if you live or work with people who are at risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
If you end quarantine after 10 days, continue to monitor yourself for symptoms daily for the full 14 days. Wear a mask when outside your home. Wash your hands often. Limit your contact with people you don’t live with. If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from others and call your doctor or clinic right away.
The CDC offers the option to quarantine for 7 days if you have no symptoms and get a test on day 5, 6 or 7 with a negative result. Local public health experts do not recommend this in our region because:
- There is a higher chance of spreading COVID-19 to people you care about if you end your quarantine after 7 days.
- There is a high demand for local testing and limited resources.
- It can be difficult to time the test just right and get results quickly.
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.
When to discontinue home isolation
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.