Protect Your Health
If you are sick
How Long to Isolate
If You Have Symptoms
If you test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms, stay home and isolate for at least 5 days from the day your symptoms began.
Day 0 is the day when symptoms started, regardless of when you tested positive.
If You Don’t Have Symptoms
If you test positive for COVID-19 and don’t have symptoms, stay home and isolate for at least 5 days from the day you had your test done.
Day 0 is the day you were tested (not the day you received your positive test result).
If you develop symptoms within 10 days of when you were tested, the clock restarts at day 0 on the day of symptom onset.
- Stay home and separate from others as much as possible.
- Get treatment if eligible.
- Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
- Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home and in public.
- Do not travel or visit people who are at high-risk of getting sick.
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Clean and disinfect all frequently touched or high-touch surfaces daily.
- Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
- Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
Care Resource Coordination Virginia (CRC) is a program for people who tested positive for COVID-19 and need support to isolate at home safely. CRC coordinators can help identify local resources available to help individuals during isolation.
People at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, with mild to moderate symptoms, should get treatment to help reduce their chance of being hospitalized or dying from the disease.
People at increased risk for severe illness include:
- people with a weakened immune system (immunocompromised)
- people aged 50 and older
- and people with certain medical conditions (like chronic disease, diabetes)
Treatment is available only by prescription and must be started within 5–7 days after symptoms develop to be effective. Treatment can be given by a health care provider, pharmacy, and through telehealth services, like the Home Test To Treat Program.
When to end isolation
If you test negative for COVID-19 – you may end isolation.
If you test positive for COVID-19 and have no symptoms – you may end after day 5.
If you test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms – you may end after day 5 if:
- You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
- Your symptoms are improving (Loss of taste and smell should not delay the end of isolation)
If you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing), or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19, or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.
If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation.
Even if you’ve ended isolation, wear your mask through Day 10. Visit CDC’s website to see how you might be able to stop wearing your mask sooner.
For more COVID-19 information:
- CDC If You Are Sick webpage
- What to do if you have COVID-19 - Spanish
- VDH COVID-19 Treatment website
- VDH When to End Isolation
- VDH Comparing Symptoms of Respiratory Illnesses and Seasonal Allergies
- VDH COVID-19 Testing Website
- Create a COVID-19 Plan (CDC)
- Make My Test Count: Report COVID-19 home test results safely and privately
- VDH COVID-19 hotline at 877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343)
Page last Updated February 15, 2024
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