Quarantine and Isolation Guidance

If You've Tested Positive for COVID-19

Because of the large number of positive COVID-19 cases in our community, those with a positive COVID test may not hear from the Public Health department.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must follow the Isolation Guidance, regardless of your vaccination status. Your close contacts must follow the Quarantine Guidance. Learn more about Quarantine vs. Isolation here.

What to do next:

  1. Isolate immediately. “Isolation” is described in the Isolation Guidance document (Isolation Guidance in Spanish).
  2. Continue to isolate while you are infectious.  
    1. You are considered infectious two days before your symptoms started. If you are asymptomatic, you are considered infectious two days before the day you took your test. You are considered infectious until your isolation ends (see more below).  
  3. Share the Quarantine Guidance (Quarantine Guidance in Spanish) with everyone in your household. 
    1. If they are unvaccinated, they must quarantine from their last exposure to you while you were infectious.
    2. If they are fully vaccinated, they should:
      1. Get tested five days after first exposure
      2. Monitor for symptoms every day and get tested again if symptomatic
      3. If fully vaccinated, do not need to quarantine (UNLESS you test positive or positive, then see Isolation Guidance)
    3. Nevada County recommends a 14-day quarantine. However, asymptomatic close contacts may discontinue quarantine after Day 10 from when you last had close contact with the infectious person. All contacts released from quarantine before Day 14 must:
      1. Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms through Day 14 and if symptoms occur, immediately self-isolate and contact their local public health department or healthcare provider and seek testing. 
      2. Adhere strictly to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including consistent use of face coverings and maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others, through Day 14.
    4. If you cannot isolate from your household members during your infectious period, their quarantine period will continue for 14 days more after your isolation period ends.
    5. For more information, see the CDPH Guide to Quarantine and Isolation.
  4. Identify all “close contacts” you had while you were infectious.
    1. You are considered infectious two days before your symptoms started. If you are asymptomatic, you are considered infectious two days before the day you took your test. You are considered infectious until your isolation ends.
    2. Close contacts are everyone who was within 6 feet of you for more than 15 minutes while you were infectious. The 15 minutes are cumulative over 24 hours, so if you are close to someone for 5 minutes three times in one day while infectious, they are a close contact.
    3. Share the Quarantine Guidance with all of your close contacts. See Step 3 above.
  5. Let your employer know if you were infectious while at work. 
    1. Employers can find resources for workplace exposures here

Ending your isolation:

You are no longer considered infectious when all three items below are true. When all three are true, you can end your isolation:

  1. It has been at least 10 days since the onset of symptoms (or 10 days from a positive test if you are asymptomatic); AND
  2. You have not had a fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of medications to reduce your temperature; AND
  3. Your other symptoms are improving.

You do not need to get tested again in order to come out of your isolation. Because dead virus particles remain in your body even after you are no longer infectious, the COVID test may still come back as positive. This means the test can’t determine when you are no longer contagious. When your isolation is over, you are no longer considered contagious. 

If You Were Exposed to COVID-19

If you were a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you must follow the Quarantine Guidance (Quarantine Guidance in Spanish

A "close contact" is defined by the CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to their test) until the time the patient is isolated.  

 What to do next:

  1. If you are UNVACCINATED:
    1. Quarantine at home from your last known contact with the person with COVID-19. Follow the instructions in the Quarantine Guidance (Quarantine Guidance in Spanish).
    2. Your last exposure to the person who is positive counts as your "Day 0" of quarantine, the next day is "Day 1" of your quarantine.
  2. If you were FULLY VACCINATED when you were first a close contact:
    1. Get tested five days after first exposure
    2. Monitor for symptoms every day and get tested again if symptomatic
    3. If fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine (UNLESS you test positive or positive, then see Isolation Guidance)
  3. Nevada County recommends a 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated close contacts. However, asymptomatic close contacts may discontinue quarantine after Day 10 from when you last had close contact with the infectious person. All contacts released from quarantine before Day 14 must:
    1. Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms through Day 14 and if symptoms occur, immediately self-isolate and contact their local public health department or healthcare provider and seek testing.
    2. Adhere strictly to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including consistent use of face coverings and maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others, through Day 14.
  4. More information from the California Department of Public Health's Guide to Quarantine and Isolation.

Resources

Workplace Exposures

See our step-by-step instructions for employers who have a workplace COVID-19 exposure.