FAQ - Isolation and Exposure
ESPAÑOL

Guidance

Updated 01/08/2022
CDPH Fact Sheet on Isolation and Quarantine

Updated 12/29/2021
CDC Isolation and Quarantine Period for General Population

Tested positive or were exposed to someone who did and trying to return to work?

  • Follow the CDPH/Cal OSHA guidance here.
For the general population, what to do if you have COVID-19:

I tested positive for COVID-19. What do I do?

If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home and isolate for at least 5 days from when your symptoms first started (or from when you tested positive, if you don't have symptoms). You can leave your home and isolation if, after 5 days, you no longer have symptoms OR your symptoms are resolving AND you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without taking any anti-fever medication. If you have fever, continue to stay home until fever-free for 24 hours without taking any anti-fever medication.
Wear a well-fitting mask for another 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.

  • Stay home except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.
  • Separate yourself as much as possible. If possible, stay in a specific room and away from people at home. If possible, use a separate bathroom. If you can't, clean the bathroom's high-touch surfaces after each use.
  • If you need to be around other people in the home, wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth.
  • Use your own plate, bowl and utensils - do not share food or any of these items to anyone.
  • Cover sneezes, wash your hands often, avoid sharing personal items and disinfect high-touch surfaces everyday.

When can I safely end home isolation?

  • If you do not have severely immunocompromised conditions ** and have mild to moderate illness, stay home for at least 5 days from when your symptoms first started. You can end home isolation after 5 days as long as you no longer have symptoms (or your symptoms are resolving) AND you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without taking a fever-reducing medication AND you wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days. Do not leave your house and end your isolation if you still have a fever.
  • If you are severely* or critically ill* or have conditions that severely compromise their immune system**, you are considered contagious for 20 days after symptoms first appeared and 24 hours have passed since you had a fever without taking a fever-reducing medication (for those with no symptoms, 20 days after being swabbed or tested).

    Note:
    * Severe illness – individuals with respiratory frequency >30 breaths/min, saturation of oxygen (SpO2)<94% on room air at sea level (or, for patients with chronic hypoxemia, a decrease from baseline of >3%), ratio of arterial pressure of oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2/FiO2)<300mmHG, of lung infiltrates >50%.
    * Critical illness – individuals with respiratory failure, septic shock and/or multiple organ dysfunction.
    ** Severely immunocompromised – individuals who are on chemotherapy for cancer, have untreated HIV infection with CD4 T lymphocyte count <200, have combined primary immunodeficiency disorder or are on prednisone>20mg/day for more than 14 days. Ultimately, the degree of
    immunocompromise for the patient is determined by the treating provider.

I have completed my isolation and am ready to return to work, but my company is asking for negative test results. What do I do?

  • Solano Public Health does not recommend retesting to discontinue isolation. In many situations, remnants of the virus remain in the body for up to 90 days, and can cause a positive test result.
  • For those who do not have severely immunocompromised conditions** and have mild to moderate illness, you can return to work 5 days after your symptoms first appeared AND your symptoms have resolved (or are resolving) AND you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without taking any anti-fever reducing medication AND you continue to wear a well-fitting mask for an additional 5 days. For those with no symptoms, you can return to work 5 days after being swabbed or tested AND you continue to wear a well-fitting mask for an additional 5 days.
  • For those who are severely ill* or critically ill* or have conditions that severely compromise their immune system*, you are considered contagious for 20 days after their symptoms first appeared and 24 hours have passed had a fever without them taking a fever-reducing medication (for those with no symptoms, 20 days after they were swabbed or tested).

Note:
* Severe illness – individuals with respiratory frequency >30 breaths/min, saturation of oxygen (SpO2)<94% on room air at sea level (or, for patients with chronic hypoxemia, a decrease from baseline of >3%), ratio of arterial pressure of oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2/FiO2)<300mmHG, of lung infiltrates >50%.
* Critical illness – individuals with respiratory failure, septic shock and/or multiple organ dysfunction.
** Severely immunocompromised – individuals who are on chemotherapy for cancer, have untreated HIV infection with CD4 T lymphocyte count <200, have combined primary immunodeficiency disorder or are on prednisone>20mg/day for more than 14 days. Ultimately, the degree of immunocompromise for the patient is determined by the treating provider.

What to do if you have been exposed to COVID-19

How do I know if I have been exposed to COVID-19?

  • You can get exposed when you come into direct contact with the secretions (droplets) of someone who has COVID-19 (being coughed on or sneezed on, etc.). People often get exposed by a household member or through close contact with another person. Close contact means that you have been less than 6 feet with someone with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, with one or both individuals not wearing a cloth face covering.

I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19. What do I do?

  • If you work at a high-risk congregate setting (skilled nursing facility, long-term care facility, memory care or assisted living), let your workplace know so they can notify the Solano Public Health Epidemiology Team and the facility can take appropriate action.
  • If you work at another type of workplace setting:
    • You do not need to stay home or quarantine if you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status, as long as you do not have symptoms. However, if you are employed, you must follow your workplace policy on when you can return to work. Workplaces are following the Cal/OSHA guidance, in alignment with CDPH. For that guidance, click here.
    • Wear a mask around others for at least 10 days.
    • If you develop symptoms, stay home and get tested.

What if I develop symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • If symptoms develop, consult your healthcare provider and schedule for testing. While waiting for test results, follow self-isolation guidance above.

Treatment of COVID-19

The emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for the new oral antiviral medications Molnupiravir and Paxlovid supplement current therapeutic efforts to decrease hospitalizations and prevent severe COVID-19 and death. Pfizer's Paxlovid and Merck's Molnupiravir are both oral antiviral pills that can be taken at home to keep patients out of the hospital. Both are available by prescription only and should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death. For more information on antivirals, and pharmacies in Solano County that have antivirals, click the link here.