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10 Tips for Isolation If You Have COVID-19

This information was accurate at the time of publication. Due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, some information may have changed since the original publication date.

Whether you have COVID-19 or someone you live with does, you need to take care of yourself and your household. While people who live together don’t always get COVID-19 together, it’s important to do what you can to prevent the spread of virus to others. Use these 10 tips to take care of yourself and those you live with.

  1. Start taking precautions if you were exposed to COVID-19, such as isolating, masking, and avoiding contact with people who are high risk. This will help prevent the spread to others if you are infected. You can use the CDC’s calculation tool to determine whether you need to isolate.
  2. Stay home for at least five days if you test positive. If you have no symptoms, day one is the first full day following the day you were tested. If you have symptoms, day one is the first full day after the day your symptoms started.
  3. Isolate from others in your home. Stay in a specific room, use a separate bathroom if possible, and don’t share personal household items such as cups and utensils.
  4. Wear a high-quality mask when you are around others.
  5. Do not travel and stay at home as much as possible.
  6. Improve ventilation. This can help protect you from getting infected or spreading the virus to others.
  7. Monitor your symptoms. If you develop any warning signs, seek medical attention right away.
  8. Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  9. Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  10. Clean high-touch surfaces in your home regularly. This is good advice to follow whenever someone in your home is ill with any virus.

Ending Isolation

Your isolation period should be determined based on the severity of your symptoms. Regardless of when you end isolation, you should continue to do the following until day 11: 

  • Avoid being around others who are likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
  • Wear a high-quality mask when indoors around others.

According to the CDC, it is safe to remove your mask before day 10 after getting two negative COVID-19 test results, taken 48 hours apart.