What is a close contact (exposure)
Close contact or exposure: Being close to someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes within 24 hours means you are a close contact and were exposed to COVID-19. However, it may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in less time or it may take longer.
- Visit CDC: Understanding Exposure Risks to learn more about factors that make spread of COVID-19 more or less likely after you were around a person with COVID-19.
- In general, the longer you are around someone who has COVID-19, the more likely it is that COVID-19 could spread to you. This is especially true if other steps to prevent spread are not in place, such as wearing a mask. Your risk may be higher if you were around a person who had symptoms, or you live with someone who has COVID-19. The type of activity can also increase your risk, such as singing or shouting.
Quarantine: Staying home and away from others when you might have been exposed to the virus.
Isolation: Staying home and away from others when you test positive, feel sick, or have symptoms of the virus.
After exposure to someone who has COVID-19
Wear a high quality and well-fitting mask for 10 full days when you are indoors and around others, even at home. The 10 days start the day after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19. The day of your last close contact is counted as day zero. The day you can stop wearing a mask is day 11.
Watch for symptoms for 10 full days after your last close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Symptoms can include fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath. For a complete list of symptoms, visit CDC: Symptoms of COVID-19.
- If you develop symptoms, stay home and away from others (isolate) and test immediately for COVID-19. Follow isolation recommendations at If You Are Sick or Test Positive: COVID-19. This includes people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, even if they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.
Test on day six, if possible
- If you test positive, stay at home (isolate), and follow recommendations at If You Are Sick or Test Positive: COVID-19.
- If you test negative, continue to wear a high-quality and well-fitting mask when indoors and around others.
- Visit COVID-19 Testing for detailed information about where you can get tested and what kinds of tests are available.
Things to avoid
- Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk of severe disease and settings where people at higher risk live or gather, such as long-term care facilities. If this is not possible, take extra precautions to protect yourself and others. For information on people at higher risk, refer to CDC: People with Certain Medical Conditions.
- Avoid travel. If you must travel, wear a high-quality and well-fitting mask.
- Avoid places where you need to remove your mask (e.g., gyms, restaurants).