Quarantine & Isolation Instructions

General Public

CDPH no longer recommends quarantine for individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 and have no symptoms. This updates the previous recommendation for a minimum five-day quarantine after exposure, regardless of symptoms.

CDPH Guidance for Local Health Jurisdictions on Isolation and Quarantine of the General Public. Please note that California Residents need to follow the CDPH issued additional guidance from that of the updated CDC isolation and quarantine recommendations:

Healthcare Personnel

Workplace Settings: Need to follow Cal/OSHA requirements pertaining to this new Isolation and Quarantine Guidance from CDPH

In the workplace, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) or in some workplaces the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard (PDF), and should consult those regulations for additional applicable requirements.

Schools

For quarantine considerations in K-12 school settings, see CDPH K-12 Schools Guidance and CDPH K-12 testing strategies.

Isolation and Quarantine Recommendations for the General Public (not applicable to healthcare personnel or Schools)

All persons with COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status or previous infection, should:

  • Self-isolate and test as soon as possible to determine infection status. Knowing one is infected early during self-isolation enables (a) earlier access to treatment options, if indicated (especially for those who may be at risk for severe illness), and (b) notification of exposed persons (close contacts) who may also benefit by knowing if they are infected. If experiencing COVID-19 symptoms,  one can get tested, be seen by a healthcare provider and receive medications, all in one place at  a Test to Treat site. For more information including locations, visit the COVID-19 Test to Treat Program (ca.gov).

    • For symptomatic persons who have tested positive within the previous 90 days, using an antigen test is recommended.

  • Remain in isolation while waiting for testing results. If not tested, they should continue isolating for 10 days after the day of symptom onset (Day 0), and if they cannot isolate, should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days.

  • Consider continuing self-isolation and retesting with an antigen or PCR test in 1–2 days if testing negative with an antigen test, particularly if tested during the first 1–2 days of symptoms. Consider repeat testing every 1–2 days for several days until testing positive or symptoms improve. 

  • Continue to self-isolate if test result is positive, follow recommended actions below (Table 1), and contact their healthcare provider about available treatments if symptoms are severe or they are at high risk for serious disease or if they have any questions concerning their care.

Table 1: Persons Who Should Isolate                         

Persons Who Test Positive for COVID-19Recommended Actions
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection, or lack of symptoms.
  • Stay home (PDF) for at least 5 days after start of symptoms (Day 0) or after date of first positive test (Day 0) if no symptoms).

  • Isolation can end after Day 5 if symptoms are not present or are resolving and a diagnostic specimen* collected on Day 5 or later tests negative.

  • If unable to test, choosing not to test, or testing positive on Day 5 (or later), isolation can end after Day 10 if fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.

  • If fever is present, isolation should be continued until 24 hours after fever resolves.

  • If symptoms, other than fever, are not resolving, continue to isolate until symptoms are resolving or until after Day 10. If symptoms are severe, or if the infected person is at high risk of serious disease, or if they have questions concerning care, infected persons should contact their healthcare provider for available treatments.

  • Per CDPH masking guidance, infected persons should wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings (see masking section below for additional information).

     
    *Antigen test recommended.

 Table 2: Close Contacts – (No Quarantine)

Asymptomatic Persons Who are Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (No Quarantine)
Recommended Actions

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Persons infected within the prior 30 days do not need to be tested, quarantined, or excluded from work unless symptoms develop.

Persons in high-risk settings* should follow recommendations and requirements as listed below.

  • Test within 3–5 days after last exposure.

  • Per CDPH masking guidance, close contacts should wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings and when near those at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease (see masking section below for additional information).

  • Strongly encouraged to get vaccinated or boosted.

  • If symptoms develop, test, and stay home (see earlier section on symptomatic persons), AND

  • If test result is positive, follow isolation recommendations above (Table 1).

 In some workplaces, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard and should consult those regulations for additional applicable requirements.