What to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19?

Protect Your Health

If you are sick

COVID-19 virus

If you tested positive for COVID-19

Exposed to COVID-19 virus

If you have symptoms of COVID-19

Regardless of vaccination status, you should get tested and stay home and away from others (isolate) when you have symptoms of COVID-19.

What to do during isolation




If you tested positive for COVID-19

The guidance below does NOT apply to healthcare facilities (patients or healthcare personnel) or high-risk congregate settings.


Isolate and monitor your symptoms

Isolate means to stay home and away from others.

Symptoms typically appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with COVID-19 might not have any symptoms. If they do have symptoms, symptoms can range from mild to severe.

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. Visit the CRC webpage for more information.

Girl sitting feeling sick

If You Have Symptoms

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and isolate for at least 5 days from the date your symptoms began.

Day 0 is the day of when symptoms started, regardless of when you tested positive.

House illustration

If You Don’t Have Symptoms

If you 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.

VDH Treatment Logo



Who should get treatment for COVID-19?

Some people are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. This includes people with a weakened immune system (immunocompromised), older people, and people with certain medical conditions. If you are at higher risk, you should get treatment to help reduce your chance of being hospitalized or dying from the disease.

Contact your healthcare provider right away to see if you are eligible for treatment. Treatment must be started within 5–7 days after symptoms develop to be effective. You do not need to be severely ill to receive treatment. 

For additional information about available treatments, see VDH’s COVID-19 Treatments page or visit the Treatment Locator . 


Fly trap catching the virus

Notify Your Close Contacts

Tell your contacts you have COVID-19

Tell anyone you had close contact with that you are sick so they can stay alert for symptoms. Let them know they can visit VDH’s Exposed to COVID-19 web page for additional information.


Regardless of vaccination status, if you tested positive or have symptoms, you should isolate from others.

Exposed to COVID-19 virus

During isolation

Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home and in public.

  • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask.
  • Do not travel.
  • Stay home and separate from others as much as possible.
  • Do not 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.
  • Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
  • 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.

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

If you still have a fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve. Loss of taste and smell may continue for weeks or months after recovery and 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.

When you can stop wearing your mask

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.

Select the option below that describes your situation, enter the relevant date, and this calculator will give you guidance on when your isolation at home may end.

This guidance is for members of the general public and may not apply to healthcare facilities, high-risk congregate settings, or other setting-specific groups

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