What to Do if You or an Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19—CDC Guidelines for Isolation and Quarantine


Quarantine vs. Isolation

You quarantine when you might have been exposed to the virus and may or may not have been infected.
You isolate when you are sick or when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Isolate for 10 days starting with the first day of symptom onset (or for asymptomatic individuals, the day of a positive test result).

If after 10 days the person has been free of fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving, they can return to normal activities.

Close Contact is defined as contact (within a distance of 6 feet or less – mask or no mask) with a COVID infected person for 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period. An infected person can spread SARS-CoV-2 starting from 2 days before they have any symptoms (or, for asymptomatic people, 2 days before the positive specimen collection date) until the end of their 10 day isolation period.

Unvaccinated Individuals

1–14 days with no symptoms. Can resume normal activities on day 15.
2–10 days with no symptoms. Can resume normal activities on day 11.
3–7 days with no symptoms and a negative COVID test (sample obtained on day 5-7). Can resume normal activities on day 8.

Deschutes County Health Services recommends the 14-day quarantine because it is the safest option.

Vaccinated Individuals
Fully vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine but should get tested 5-7 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms. They should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

The latest information can be found on the CDC website.