If you think you have been exposed to someone with laboratory confirmed or presumptive positive COVID-19, follow these steps to monitor your health and avoid spreading the disease to others if you get sick.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. We expect most people will have mild illness, but some people will get sicker and may need to be hospitalized.
How do I know if I was exposed?
You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. If you have not been in close contact with a sick person with COVID-19, you are considered to be at low risk for infection. Close contact includes:
Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19.
Caring for a sick person with COVID-19.
Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for at least 10 minutes.
Being in direct contact with fluids from a sick person with COVID-19. This includes being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.
What should I do if I have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, but I am not sick?
Monitor your health for fever, cough, or shortness of breath for 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19
Do not go to work or school, and avoid public places for 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person.
What should I do if I have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and I get sick in the 14 days after close contact with a sick person with COVID-19?
If you get sick with fever, cough, or shortness of breath (even if the symptoms are very mild), stay at home and away from other people.
If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, contact your doctor’s office and tell them you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. They may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for COVID-19 and other respiratory infections like influenza. Higher risk groups include:
Older people (over age 60), especially those over 80 years.
People who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease, or diabetes.
Older people with chronic medical conditions are at greatest risk.
Do not go to work or school, and avoid public places for 14 days.
What if I am not at higher risk, but I still need medical advice?
Call your health care provider or a nurseline to get advice. Tell them you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 so they can help you decide if you need to be evaluated in person or tested.
What if I am having a medical emergency?
If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, tell the dispatch personnel that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive or immediately after they arrive.