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How and When to Quarantine or Isolate

If you are exposed to COVID-19, you need to quarantine.

If you are identified as a close contact, it means you’ve been exposed to the virus because you spent time around someone who has COVID-19. In general, a close contact means being less than six feet from someone for 15 minutes or more throughout a 24-hour period. However, even shorter periods of time or longer distances can result in spread of the virus. COVID-19 can take up to 14 days to make you sick, and some people with COVID-19 never feel sick, so you need to stay home and away from others so you don't spread the virus without knowing it. This is called quarantine. 

If you test positive for COVID-19, or if you have symptoms, you need to isolate.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay home and away from others. Even if you have no symptoms, a positive COVID-19 test means you are infected with the virus and should separate yourself from other people. In addition to staying home, you will also need to keep away from other members of your household as much as possible. This is called isolation. Visit the If You Are Sick page for helpful tips on caring for yourself and others during isolation. 

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