Protect Your Health
If you are sick
If you tested positive for COVID-19
Isolate and monitor your symptoms
Isolate means to stay home and away from others when you are infected.
Symptoms typically appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus, but might develop sooner (2 to 4 days). People with COVID-19 might not have any symptoms. If they do have symptoms, symptoms can range from mild to severe.
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.
If you are not symptomatic
If you are not symptomatic and have tested positive for COVID-19, 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
Notify Your Contacts
Tell your contacts you have COVID-19.
Tell anyone you had close contact with that you are sick, so that they know to quarantine (stay home), get tested, and stay alert for symptoms.
Let them know they can visit VDH’s Exposure to COVID-19 web page for additional information.
Regardless of vaccination status, if you tested positive or have symptoms, you should isolate from others.
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
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 fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve.
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.
For more COVID-19 information:
- CDC Isolation & Exposure Calculator
- When to End Isolation (VDH)
- VDH If you were exposed to COVID website
- VDH COVID-19 hotline at 877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343)
- COVID-19, the flu, or a cold? (VDH)
- VDH COVID-19 Testing Website
- What to do if you have COVID-19 (CDC)
- Easy to read materials (CDC)
- Caring For Someone Sick At Home (CDC)
- Coping With Stress (CDC)
- Care Resource Coordination of Virginia
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