Use the CDC’s Isolation Calculator to identify your own start/end date.

Isolation

Isolation is for those who are positive for COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms. It involves staying home and away from others – even family. View the CDC’s recommendations here.

 

When to Start & End Isolation:

 

If you have/had symptoms:

  • Isolate for 5 days: Day zero is the first day of symptoms. Day one is the first day after symptoms developed. You can leave isolation after five-full days if you have no symptoms and are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and your symptoms are improving (loss of taste can continue for weeks and should not delay end of isolation).
  • Wear a well-fitting mask for five days after leaving isolation in home/work/around other people.
  • If you have a fever continue to isolate until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
  • Persons who have access to antigen tests (standard at-home tests) and who choose to use testing to determine when they can discontinue masking should wait to take the first test until at least day 6 if they are without a fever for 24 or more hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and all other symptoms have improved. Use of two antigen tests with 48 or more hours between tests and negative results are necessary for persons to discontinue masking.  If either test result is positive, persons should continue to wear a mask around others and continue testing every 48 hours until they have two sequential negative results.

If no symptoms:

  • Isolate for 5 days. Day zero is the date you tested positive for COVID-19. Day one is the first full day after you took you COVID-19 test.
  • You can leave isolation after five full days. You still must wear a well-fitting mask for another five days around others at home/work/around other people.
  • Persons who have access to antigen tests and who choose to use testing to determine when they can discontinue masking should wait to take the first test until at least day 6 if they are without a fever for 24 or more hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and all other symptoms have improved. Use of two antigen tests with 48 or more hours between tests and negative results are necessary for persons to discontinue masking.  If either test result is positive, persons should continue to wear a mask around others and continue testing every 48 hours until they have two sequential negative results.
*Regardless of whether you have symptoms or not, if you are unable to wear a mask during or after isolation around others, isolate for 10 days. If you have two consecutive negative test results 48 hours apart beginning no earlier than Day 6, you can end isolation without masking in this case.

 

Isolation Dos:

  • Stay home and stay separated from others in the household. Use a sick room and separate bathroom if possible.
  • Have family or friends pick up groceries, medicine or prescriptions for you.
  • Monitor symptoms. If you have trouble breathing seek medical attention immediately.
  • Avoid household members and pets. Wear a well-fitting mask if you need to be around others at home during your isolation period.
  • Avoid being around or visiting high-risk or immunocompromised persons (hospitals, long-term care, active treatment for conditions) until after day 10.

Isolation Don’ts:

  • Don’t leave isolation if you still have symptoms. Continue to isolate until you are fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours.
  • Don’t use a taxi, bus or ride-share to get medical attention. If it’s an emergency, call an ambulance.
  • Don’t share household items like dishes, or utensils.
  • Don’t go to eat at restaurants or visit other places where you cannot wear a well-fitting mask on days 6 through 10 unless you have two negative test results at least 48 hours apart.

Quarantine

The CDC no longer recommends quarantine of persons exposed to COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status. Persons who have had recent confirmed or suspected exposure to an infected person should wear a mask for 10 days around others when indoors in public and should receive testing 5 or more days after exposure (or sooner, if they are symptomatic), regardless of their vaccination status.

 

What is a close contact?

That means you were less than six feet away from a person who was infected with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period. So, if you had three, five-minute exposures to an infected person that means you should follow the recommended guidance for wearing a mask for 10 days around others when indoors in public and should receive testing 5 or more days after exposure (or sooner, if they are symptomatic), regardless of your vaccination status.

Isolation Information for Students K-12 and Child Care Settings

Separate guidance is provided for health care personnel.

Download, Print, and Share This Information

Infographic

You can download this infographic, print it out, and distribute it however you would like, including sharing it on social media.

Shareable infographic on the latest COVID-19 quarantine and isolation recommendations

Download English version: JPG | PDF

Infografía para compartir sobre las últimas recomendaciones de cuarentena y aislamiento de COVID-19

Download Spanish version: JPG | PDF

Enfografik pataje sou dènye rekòmandasyon karantèn ak izolasyon COVID-19 la

Download Haitian Creole version: JPG | PDF

Fact Sheet

This fact sheet gives you a summary of the most important information that you need to know about isolation. You can download the fact sheet, print it out, and distribute it however you would like, including sharing it on social media.

Download English PDF
Download Spanish PDF
Download Haitian Creole PDF

Page updated 2/9/22

 

 


Get More COVID Data

For more data on Delaware COVID cases, testing and outcomes, including demographic breakdowns, go to My Healthy Community