I Feel Sick
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If you test positive for COVID-19, you should:
If you test positive for COVID-19, you should stay home (which is called isolation) for 5 days. Day 0 is your first full day of symptoms.
- Separate yourself from other people and pets as much as possible while at home. If possible, stay in one room and use a separate bathroom. Don’t share household items.
- You should try to improve air quality (such as by opening windows or using an air purifier).
- Be sure to tell anyone you were around (e.g., close contacts) about your positive COVID-19 test. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone. You can contact them by using tellyourcontacts.org.
Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over the counter medicines if you can, such as acetaminophen to help you feel better. Be sure to stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. If you have trouble breathing or have severe symptoms, call 911.
Prescribed COVID-19 medications are now available through doctors, local pharmacies and health clinics.
If eligible, oral COVID-19 medication must be taken early (within 5 days of your first COVID-19 symptom). Learn more by visiting this webpage.
After testing positive, you should stay home for 5 days regardless of vaccination status.
After 5 days, you may end isolation if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without use of fever-reducing medicine) AND your symptoms are improving. If you had a moderate or severe illness, you may need to isolate through longer and should talk to a doctor.
When to Remove Your Mask
- On day 10 and if you are feeling better (no fever medications).
- If you have access to antigen test, you should consider using them. You may choose to remove your mask prior to the 10 days by using an antigen test. If you have two consecutive negative antigen tests that are 48 hours apart, you can remove your mask prior to day 10. Testing should not occur before you complete your isolation period, as described above. Don’t start testing until day 6.
If you ended isolation but your COVID-19 symptoms come back, you should restart your isolation period back to day 0. Regardless of when you end isolation, it is important to wear a well-fitted mask when indoors and in public settings through day 10.
For more information, visit CDC’s isolation and precautions webpage.
I've been exposed.
If you were exposed to someone who had COVID-19, you should start taking precautions immediately no matter if you’ve been vaccinated or not.
You should wear a well-fitted mask for 10 days. Watch for symptoms of COVID-19, and if you develop signs of being sick you should isolate immediately and get tested. See the above “ I feel sick” section for more information.
On day 6, get tested for COVID-19. If it’s negative, continue to wear a mask through day 10. If positive, isolate immediately (see above section for more details).
Visit the CDC Isolation Guidance page for a step-by-step isolation/quarantine calculator and more information.