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Help Slow The Spread.
COVID-19 can easily spread between people who are in close contact with one another. To help slow COVID’s spread, protect vulnerable individuals, and prevent the healthcare system in the County of Marin from being overwhelmed, it is necessary for people who have been infected to isolate.
If you are experiencing covid-like symptoms, stay home and get tested as soon as possible.
Effective April 6th, quarantine recommendations for asymptomatic exposed persons (for the general public) have been removed in order to align with state guidance. If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 in a high risk setting, you may still need to quarantine, depending on your vaccination status.
Jump to a section:
- ISOLATION: when YOU test positive.
- QUARANTINE: when you are in close contact with SOMEONE ELSE who tested positive.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must isolate. This includes positive results from an at-home test or a test from a laboratory. If you are at high risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19, talk to your health care provider to discuss if you may be a candidate for prescription-based therapeutic treatment and visit our Therapeutics: Test to Treat webpage more information.
Isolation separates sick people and those who have tested positive with COVID-19 from people who are not sick. This means you should have no contact with anyone who might become infected with the COVID-19 virus. Isolation is necessary to protect you and those around you, including family, co-workers, and neighbors.
Isolation applies to everyone who is COVID-19 positive, regardless of symptoms, vaccination status, or previous infection.
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 below, 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.
How long to I need to isolate?
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, especially in indoor settings, for a minimum of 10 days.
Guidance for children:
- Children less than 18 years of age, who test positive for COVID-19, should follow the above isolation recommendations. However, as per CDPH masking guidance, children under 2 years of age should not wear a mask during their isolation period. Children until 2 years of age may leave isolation on day 6 without a negative test.
- 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.
How do I isolate?
Stay at home.
- Do not go to school, work or church.
- Do not run errands.
- Do not travel or use public transportation.
- Leave your home only if you have a medical emergency.
- A household member or friend should handle all outside activities, such as grocery shopping.
- For a list of free food pantries in Marin County visit our HHS Resource Guide.
- For home-delivered groceries, please visit the SFMarin Food Bank website to see if you qualify.
Isolate yourself to a small space in your home.
- If possible, designate a room and bathroom that only you will use. The smaller the area, the easier it will be to disinfect it properly.
- Household members or visitors should not enter your isolation area, and you should not leave. Instead:
- Leave meals outside the door of the isolation area.
- Clean and disinfect returned items (like dishes) immediately before putting them away. Use gloves when cleaning and disinfecting.
- Limit items that enter/leave the isolation area to necessities.
- If you must be in a shared space (for those living in close quarters or shared housing):
- Stay at least 6 feet from other people, especially those more likely to get sick.
- Wear a mask when around others. Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Open windows and doors to increase ventilation, when possible and safe to do so.
- Use a separate bathroom if possible.
- Wash your hands often; if you can’t wash, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean or disinfect any surfaces you touch frequently.
Monitor your health.
- For most people COVID-19 illness is mild and does not require medical attention.
- Proper home care (like resting or drinking fluids) helps most people get better without the need for hospitalization.
- Talk to your health care provider to discuss if you may be a candidate for prescription-based therapeutic treatment if you are at high risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19.
- Call your health care provider or go to the hospital if you have serious illness. Serious illness includes:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or changes in mental function
- Bluish lips or face
- Consult your clinic or health care provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning, or if you are pregnant.
- If you need to visit your doctor or a hospital, or if you call 9-1-1, tell them you have COVID-19 so they can be prepared and prepare other patients. Put on a face mask before entering any healthcare facility. Do NOT wait in the waiting room
Notify Close Contacts.
The definition of "close contact" has been expanded to include sharing the same indoor airspace, e.g., home, clinic waiting room, airplane etc., for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) with a covid-positive person during their infectious period.
Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and share this information with them.
The following guidance based on CDPH's Guidance on Isolation and Quarantine of the General Public. This guidance does not apply to school or healthcare / emergency medical service settings. In addition, workers should check with their employers about requirements for returning to work since state guidance may differ for those settings.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID, to see if they become infected. Someone may have been exposed to COVID-19 but does not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms.
Effective April 6th, quarantine recommendations for asymptomatic exposed persons (for the general public) have been removed in order to align with state guidance. If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 in a high risk setting, you may still need to quarantine depending on your vaccination status.
What do I need to do to quarantine?
If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 in a high risk setting and you are unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or eligible for a booster but haven't received one yet, you should take the following actions:
- Quarantine for at least 5 days after last exposure.
- Quarantine can end after Day 5 if symptoms are not present and a diagnostic specimen collected on Day 5 or later tests negative.
- If unable to test or choosing not to test, and symptoms are not present, quarantine can end after day 10.
- Comply with CDPH masking guidance (i.e., universal masking and, in some cases, where surgical masks or higher filtration respirators may be required).
- Strongly encouraged to get vaccinated or boosted.
- If symptoms develop, stay home and test as soon as possible; AND
- If test result is positive, follow isolation recommendations above.
Vaccinated and boosted healthcare personnel working in high-risk settings should test immediately upon notification of exposure, and again at 3-5 days.
Guidance for children:
Children less than 18 years of age, regardless of vaccination status, who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine but should:
- 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 masking section below for additional information).
- Per CDPH masking guidance, children under 2 years of age should not wear a mask.
- Strongly encouraged to get vaccinated or boosted if eligible.
- If symptoms develop, test and stay home (see earlier section on symptomatic persons), AND
- If test result is positive, follow isolation recommendations above.
Quarantine guidance based on CDPH's Guidance on Isolation and Quarantine of the General Public. This guidance does not apply to school or healthcare settings. In addition, workers should check with their employers about requirements for returning to work since state guidance may differ for those settings. Emergency Medical Services Personnel should follow the guidance on quarantine for healthcare personnel.