Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
UPDATE
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
UPDATE
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helps protect you, your family, and your community.

CDC has updated isolation and quarantine recommendations for the public, and is revising the CDC website to reflect these changes. These recommendations do not apply to healthcare personnel and do not supersede state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.

Contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19

Contact tracing helps protect you, your family, and your community by:

  • Helping people diagnosed with COVID-19 get referrals for services and resources they may need to safely isolate.
  • Notifying people who have come into close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and helping them determine what steps to take, depending on their vaccination status and history of prior infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Follow-up may include testingquarantine, and wearing a well-fitted mask.
  • Discussions with public health workers are confidential. This means that your personal and medical information will be kept private and only shared with those who may need to know, like your healthcare provider.
Answer the Call – Contact Tracing Video

This 1-minute animation video informs the public about contact tracing and why they should answer and respond to a call from a contact tracer.

English
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During contact tracing, the health department staff will not ask you for:

  • Money
  • Social Security number
  • Bank account information
  • Salary information
  • Credit card numbers

What to do if you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19

  • A public health worker, other professional, or the person you came into close contact with may tell you that you are a close contact and have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Follow recommendations for quarantine, testing, and wearing a well-fitting mask. Quarantine recommendations vary based on up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination status or history of prior COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested immediately and isolate from others. If your test result is positive, follow recommendations to isolate.
  • If you need help, health department staff can provide information about the best time to get a vaccine and resources for COVID-19 testing in your area.

What to do if you are waiting for a COVID-19 test result or if you are diagnosed with COVID-19

What to do if you come into close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
If you are waiting for COVID-19 test results If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19
Stay away from others Quarantine
  • Stay away from others while waiting for your COVID-19 test result, especially people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, if possible.
  • If you have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 follow recommendations to quarantine and wear a well-fitting mask. Quarantine recommendations vary based on up-to-date  vaccination status or history of prior COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days.
Isolate

Stay at home away from others (isolate), except to get medical care.

  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Stay in a separate room, away from other household members, if possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Avoid contact with other household members and pets.
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask if you must be around other people.
  • Follow recommendations for isolation.
Think about your close contacts While you wait for your COVID-19 test result, think about anyone you have come into close contact with starting 2 days before your symptoms began (or two days before you test if you do not have symptoms). This information can help with contact tracing efforts and help slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community.

 

Tell your close contacts that you have COVID-19 right away so that they can follow recommendations to quarantine, get tested, and wear a well-fitting mask, depending on their vaccination and booster status or history of prior infection.
  • An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 2 days before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. People who have COVID-19 don’t always have obvious symptoms.
  • A person is still considered a close contact even if they were wearing a mask while they were less than six feet from someone with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
    • You can call, text, or email your contacts. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.
    • If you would like to stay anonymous, there is also an online tool that allows you to tell your contacts by sending out emails or text notifications anonymously (tellyourcontacts.orgexternal icon).
    • There are exceptions to the close contact definition in K-12 indoor classroom settings
What to do if you come into close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
Answer the call If a public health worker from the health department calls you, answer the call to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community.
  • Discussions with public health workers are confidential. This means that your personal and medical information will be kept private and only shared with those who may need to know, like your healthcare provider.
  • Your name will not be shared with those you came in contact with, even if they ask. The public health worker will only notify people you were in close contact with that they might have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Public health workers may be able to connect you with other supportive services that can help you isolate or quarantine.

What to do if you are waiting for a COVID-19 test result or if you are diagnosed with COVID-19

If you are waiting for COVID-19 test results


Stay away from others:
Quarantine

  • Stay away from others while waiting for your COVID-19 test result, especially people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, if possible.
  • If you have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 follow recommendations to quarantine and wear a well-fitting mask. Quarantine recommendations vary based on up-to-date  vaccination status or history of prior COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days.

Think about your close contacts:
While you wait for your COVID-19 test result, think about anyone you have come into close contact with starting 2 days before your symptoms began (or two days before you test if you do not have symptoms). This information can help with contact tracing efforts and help slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19


Stay away from others:
Isolate

Stay at home away from others (isolate), except to get medical care.

  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Stay in a separate room, away from other household members, if possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Avoid contact with other household members and pets.
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask if you must be around other people.
  • Follow recommendations for isolation.

Think about your close contacts:
Tell your close contacts that you have COVID-19 right away so that they can follow recommendations to quarantine, get tested, and wear a well-fitting mask, depending on their vaccination and booster status or history of prior infection.

  • An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 2 days before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. People who have COVID-19 don’t always have obvious symptoms.
  • A person is still considered a close contact even if they were wearing a mask while they were less than six feet from someone with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
    • You can call, text, or email your contacts. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.
    • If you would like to stay anonymous, there is also an online tool that allows you to tell your contacts by sending out emails or text notifications anonymously (tellyourcontacts.orgexternal icon).
    • There are exceptions to the close contact definition in K-12 indoor classroom settings

Answer the call


If a public health worker from the health department calls you, answer the call to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community.

  • Discussions with public health workers are confidential. This means that your personal and medical information will be kept private and only shared with those who may need to know, like your healthcare provider.
  • Your name will not be shared with those you came in contact with, even if they ask. The public health worker will only notify people you were in close contact with that they might have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Public health workers may be able to connect you with other supportive services that can help you isolate or quarantine.