Isolation and Quarantine

Isolation & Quarantine Guidance

MDHHS quarantine and isolation guidelines

Have you tested positive for COVID-19? Follow these steps:

Start isolating right away.

Stay home for 5 days unless you need medical care. Use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if possible, wash your hands, wear a well-fitting mask and disinfect high-touch surfaces often. 

Consider seeking advice from a medical provider ASAP.

The elderly and those who are immune-compromised or have underlying health conditions tend to have more severe courses with COVID-19 infection. There are time-sensitive treatments available that may help reduce risks of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

Notify your close contacts.

This includes anyone you’ve been within 6 feet of for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period with or without a mask. You’re contagious approximately 2 days before symptoms or a positive COVID test and throughout your isolation period. 

 You can stop isolating at home when ALL of these apply:

  • 5 full days have passed since your symptoms started or 5 days after your test date if you don't develop symptoms. You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others, including those in your household for 5 more days after isolating.
  • You are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol, aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Your other symptoms have definitely improved.

Available treatments

  • If you test positive for COVID-19 and would like to request treatment, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Vaccinations remain the best way to protect a person from developing serious illness due to COVID-19. 
  • Antiviral medication may help you recover from COVID-19 faster or prevent serious illness. These medications must be prescribed after a person has tested positive and within five days of symptom onset. 
  • Monoclonal antibody treatment may be effective for reducing symptoms and risk of hospitalization for high risk COVID-19 patients. The treatment is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms and should be administered to non-hospitalized patients as soon as possible after testing positive and within seven days of system onset. 

Are you a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19? Follow these steps:

Who is considered a close contact?

Anyone who is within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for 15 minutes in a 24-hour period with or without a mask (except in some settings.)

Monitor for symptoms for 10 days.

If you develop symptoms, get tested and start isolating from others – even those in your home. You can do this by using a different bedroom and bathroom if possible, wearing a well-fitting mask, washing your hands and disinfecting high-touch surfaces often.

Start wearing a well-fitting mask for 10 days after your last exposure.

If your exposure is a household member or if you’re not up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, consider staying home for 5 days after the date of your last exposure if you cannot wear a well-fitting mask around others. If in a K-12 setting, contact your school for options. 

Does anyone in my household need to quarantine?

No. If you are a close contact and develop symptoms, or if the COVID-19 positive person is a member of your household, then everyone in your home should consider quarantining if not willing or able to wear a mask in public for 10 days.

If I test negative for COVID-19 between days 3-7 do I still need to mask?

Yes. You should wear a well-fitting mask for a full 10 days after your last exposure. You do not need to quarantine after 5 days if you were doing so.

If I'm fully vaccinated, have received all recommended boosters and don't have symptoms, do I need to quarantine?

No. If symptoms develop, isolate and get tested. Remember to wear a well-fitting mask for the full 10 days when around others.

 If I have previously tested positive for COVID-19, do I need to quarantine?

No. If you tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days by PCR or antigen test (not just by antibody test), then you do not need to quarantine, but should still wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days.