If You Are a Close Contact to Someone With COVID-19


Understanding Your Risk of Exposure to COVID-19

Close contacts are defined based on exposure risks such as the length of time you are around someone with COVID-19, how close you were to that person, if you wore a facemask, and ventilation and filtration system for indoor settings. To determine your exposure risk, refer to CDC’s website: Understanding Exposure Risks | CDC.

What to Do if You Were Exposed to COVID-19

If you were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 or have been told by a healthcare provider or public health that you were exposed, here are the steps that you should take, regardless of your vaccination status or if you have had a previous infection.  Learn how COVID-19 spreads and the factors that make risk of spreading higher or lower

  • Wear a high-quality mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or indoors in public.
    1. Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19.
    2. Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure.
    3. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask, including travel and public transportation settings. 
    4. Masks are not recommended for children under ages 2 years and younger, or for people with some disabilities. Other prevention actions such as improving ventilation should be used to avoid transmission during these 10 days.
  • Take extra precautions if you will be around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.  
  • Watch for symptoms such as fever (100.4°F), cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms
    1. If you develop symptoms, you should isolate immediately, get tested, and stay home until you know your result.
  • Get tested at least 5 full days after your last exposure.
    1. If you test negative, then:
      • Continue taking precautions through day 10 including wearing a high-quality mask when around others at home and indoors in public. 
      • You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed. 
    2. If you test positive, then:
      • You should isolate immediately
      • Seek medical care if you have an emergency warning sign like trouble breathing. 
      • Consider contacting a healthcare provider, community health center, or pharmacy to learn about treatment options that may be available to you. Treatment must be started within several days after you first develop symptoms to be effective. 
        • You are more likely to get very sick if you are an older adult or have an underlying medical condition. Possible treatment may be available for you.