Cold, influenza and COVID-19 symptoms can be similar. Regardless, keeping a child home that is sick or showing COVID-related symptoms is a good way to reduce the spread of colds and flu within schools. As for others in your household, if your child is showing symptoms, it is important to evaluate your child’s symptoms and possible exposures to COVID-19 when deciding whether other children in your household should stay home. For the most up-to-date information around when children need to isolate or quarantine, visit MCOE's Rethinking Schools website or our Schools page.
Fever free for 24 hours and with improving symptoms.
**This guidance is for the general population: For school staff and students, follow the guidance of your doctor which may be specific to your individual health needs. In general, if you have symptoms, stay at home until you are fever-free for at least 24 hours (without the aid of fever reducing medication) and 10 days after your symptoms have resolved.**
People may be sick infected with the virus for 1 to 14 days before developing symptoms. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- dry cough
- shortness of breath
Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. However, if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 seek immediate medical attention. Emergency warning signs include*:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Testing starts with your medical provider. Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should immediately call their medical provider and seek testing.
Your medical provider will want to test for possible conditions such as flu, strep, or pneumonia. If your doctor believes you are a candidate for testing, they will refer you to either Marin Public Health or a suitable test center to conduct the testing.
Marin County Public Health also recommends testing for some groups, even if they do not have symptoms, including:
- All persons who were notified that they were exposed to someone who was confirmed to have COVID-19; and
- All persons who were notified by Marin Public Health as being high risk based on outbreak investigations; and
- All essential public and private sector workers (cities and town workers included); and
- Certain occupations with higher risk of exposures, including some healthcare workers and first responders. Testing for these individuals is arranged through their employer.
Also, make sure to review our Testing webpage for information about what to do while waiting for your test results.
Learn more about COVID-19 testing in Marin County by visiting our Testing Information webpage.
Everyone who tests positive, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate for a minimum of 5 days. Those with symptoms may need to isolate longer.
Follow these steps to protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Stay home for at least 5 days.
- Isolation can end on day 5 if symptoms are not present or resolving AND a test collected on day 5 or later is negative.
- If no test is taken, isolation can end on day 10 if symptoms are not present or resolving.
- If fever is present, isolation should continue until fever resolves.
- If symptoms other than fever are present, continue to isolate until they are resolving OR until after day 10.
- Wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days (from date of positive test result or when symptoms began), especially in indoor settings.
- Positive WITH Symptoms (English) (Spanish)
- Positive WITHOUT Symptoms (English) (Spanish)
- Symptoms without Test (English) (Spanish)
TO CALCULATE YOUR ISOLATION PERIOD:
Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or the day of your positive test (if you are asymptomatic). Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms develop, or the first full day after your positive test if you do not experience symptoms. Isolation is a minimum five full days, and may extend depending on result of test on Day 5 or later. This means you could leave your house as early as Day 6. Still unsure? Use this isolation and quarantine calculator.
Please read the CDC Quarantine and Isolation webpage for more information and practical tips.
As defined by the CDC, a Person Under Investigation (PUI) is any person currently under investigation for having the virus that causes COVID-19. A PUI should be directed to COVID testing and quarantine under the guidance of their health care professional or Marin Public Health.
Source: CDC, Marin HHS
Many providers, such as CVS and Walgreens, provide testing for free or a small fee.
For more information or locations, visit our Testing page for more information.
- See if you’re eligible for Medi-Cal.
- See if you’re eligible for Covered California.
- See if you are eligible for care at a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center.
People who are identified as close contacts should follow CDC guidelines to protect themselves and others. People who have come into close contact with persons diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow the recommendations outlined on the COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation web page.
All close contacts should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and promptly get tested and isolate away from others if symptoms develop. People with symptoms of COVID-19 should seek emergency medical care immediately if they develop emergency warning signs.
For more information about testing, visit the CDC testing webpage
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.
Learn more about the COVID-19 Vaccine in Marin County on our vaccine information webpage.
Marin County is aligned with California Department of Public Health's Isolation & Quarantine guidance.
Close contacts are no longer required to quarantine if they remain without symptoms.
Recommended actions for close contacts, regardless of vaccination status, include:
- Test within 3-5 days after last exposure.
- Per CDPH masking guidance, close contacts should wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings and when near those at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease (see masks and face covering page for additional information).
- Strongly encouraged to complete a primary vaccination series or get boosted.
- If symptoms develop, test and stay home, AND
- If test result is positive, follow isolation recommendations.
All persons with COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status or previous infection, should:
- Self-isolate and test as soon as possible to determine infection status. Knowing one is infected early during self-isolation enables (a) earlier access to treatment options, if indicated (especially for those that may be at risk for severe illness), and (b) notification of exposed persons (close contacts) who may also benefit by knowing if they are infected.
- For symptomatic persons who have tested positive within the previous 90 days, using an antigen test is preferred.
- Remain in isolation while waiting for testing results. If not tested, they should continue isolating for 10 days after the day of symptom onset, and if they cannot isolate, should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days.
- Consider continuing self-isolation and retesting in 1-2 days if testing negative with an antigen test, particularly if tested during the first 1-2 days of symptoms.
- Continue to self-isolate if test result is positive, follow recommended actions, and contact their healthcare provider about available treatments if symptoms are severe or they are at high risk for serious disease or if they have any questions concerning their care.
Presently, there is no local masking mandate in Marin County, however, California masking requirements remain in effect. Learn more about the Guidance for the Use of Face Masks in California by visiting the California Department of Public Health's webpage.
Guidance Based on Setting
Everyone is required to wear a mask in the following indoor public spaces, regardless of their vaccination status:
- Health care settings
- Long-term care facilities
- Homeless shelters
- Emergency cooling / heating centers
- State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
Read Get the Most out of Masking to learn how a mask can best protect you.
It depends on the setting.
There are certain public indoor settings where masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status:
- Health Care Settings
- Long-term care facilities
In indoor public spaces not listed above, masking requirements may vary.
- Businesses may choose to enforce their own policy regarding the universal use of face coverings for all visitors. In those situations, you will need to wear a mask.
- Businesses may choose to not enforce any mask use. In those situations, its strongly recommended that you continue wearing a mask but doing so is ultimately your choice.
For outdoor public settings, masks are not required but are strongly encouraged if the setting is crowded.
Visit the California Department of Public Health's webpage to see the state's current masking requirements.
Presently, there is no local masking mandate in Marin County, however California masking requirements remain in effect. Both Marin County Public Health and California Department of Public Health strongly encourage the use of masks indoors, especially for our residents who are more vulnerable to infection or more at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.
In settings where masks are strongly recommended, businesses, venue operators, or hosts may:
- Provide information to all patrons, guests, and attendees regarding masking recommendations for all persons, independent of their vaccination status.
- Provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees to consider better fit and filtration for masks. Surgical masks or higher-level respirators (e.g., N95s, KN95s, KF94s) with good fit are recommended over cloth masks].
- Require all patrons to wear masks, especially when risk in the community may be high, or if those being served are at high risk for severe disease or illness.
- Require every attendee who does not provide proof of vaccination upon entering indoor Mega Events to continue masking during the event, especially when not actively eating or drinking.
No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business.
Visit the CDPH Guidance for Face Coverings webpage for additional information.
At this time, researchers do not know whether the presence of antibodies means that you are immune to COVID-19; or if you are immune, how long it will last. In people who have received a COVID-19 vaccination, antibody testing is not recommended to determine whether you are immune or protected from COVID-19.