Quarantining for COVID-19 exposure

What to do if you live with, or had close contact with, someone who has COVID-19.

What to do

Follow this guidance if you came in close contact with someone who tested positive COVID-19.  For more information about when you need to isolate because you have COVID-19, see official guidance from the Department of Public Health.

Stay at home

If you are unvaccinated and do not have symptoms, quarantine for at least 10 days, starting from the date of your last contact with the person with COVID-19 (this is day 0). You can end your quarantine after 7 days if you test negative on day 5 after your last close contact, as long as you do not have symptoms. There are certain groups of people who must quarantine for 14 days

There is still a small chance you could still be infected and not have symptoms up to 14 days after a close contact with someone with COVID-19. After you end quarantine, keep watching for symptoms until day 14.

If you test positive or develop symptoms within 14 days of your close contact, see additional guidance for how long you must stay away from others.

If you are vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine if you are exposed and do not have symptoms.  See CDPH recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals. Everyone who has symptoms should stay away from others until they get tested.

Do not go to work, school or any public places. Do not leave your home unless you have to get healthcare. Do not allow visitors into your home, unless you need their help to care for yourself.

Limit contact with people you live with

Stay in your own room and have your own bathroom, if you can. Wear a face covering, and have others wear a face covering around you.

Open windows and doors if it's safe to do so. The virus builds up indoors, so you’ll want to bring in as much fresh air as possible.

Use a separate bathroom, if you can. If you share a bathroom:

  1. Turn on fans that pull air out of the bathroom.
  2. Open windows.
  3. Wear a face covering.
  4. Flush the toilet with the lid closed. 
  5. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  6. Wipe down anything you touched with a disinfectant.

Do not prepare or serve food to others. Keep your own set of utensils, plates, towels, bedding, or other household items. Do not share them.

Limit your contact with pets.

Follow personal hygiene and cleaning tips for staying healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

You can ask friends or loved ones to help

If people ask if they can help, they can:

  • Leave food and drinks at your door
  • Get you medicine to relieve symptoms
  • Help care for children, parents, or other dependents
  • Help care for your pets

If friends and family come to help take care of you, remind them to wear a face covering at all times and wash their hands.

Special cases

Vaccinated people

Get help



Get help with food, housing, or other needs.

Isolation and Quarantine Support

Get free help self-quarantining.

Last updated October 05, 2021