Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, get vaccinated as soon as you can and wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
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.

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 about their exposure.
  • Helping people who were exposed to COVID-19 know what steps to take, depending on their vaccination status. Follow-up may include testing and quarantine for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated people, and testing and wearing a mask for fully vaccinated.

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.

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

  • Money
  • Social Security number
  • Bank account information
  • Salary information
  • Credit card numbers
Answer the Call - Contact Tracing Video
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.

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What you can expect to happen

What to do if you come into close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
What to do if you come into close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
If you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 and you are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. If you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 and you are fully vaccinated. If you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 and you have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 within the past 90 days and recovered (regardless of vaccination status).
You should get tested You should get tested immediately after finding out you are a close contact.

If you need help, health department staff can provide information about the best time to get a vaccine and resources for COVID-19 testing and vaccination your area.

If your test result is negative, get tested again 5-7 days after your last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop.

If your test result is positive, you have COVID-19 and should isolate for 10 days.

If you are fully vaccinated and become infected, you can spread the virus to others.

Get tested immediately if you develop symptoms. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you should get tested 5-7 days after your exposure.

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.

If your test result is positive, you have COVID-19 and should isolate for 10 days.

If you develop symptoms, consult with a healthcare professional for testing recommendations.
You should monitor your symptoms Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately. Get tested immediately if you develop symptoms. Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately. Get tested immediately if you develop symptoms. Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.  If you develop symptoms, consult with a healthcare professional for testing recommendations.
You should wear a mask As a close contact, you should wear a mask correctly and consistently at all times. As a close contact, you should wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative. As a close contact, you should wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure.
You should minimize contact with others As a close contact, you should stay home and away from others (quarantine) for 14 days from the date of your last known exposure to a person with COVID-19 and follow the quarantine steps. As a close contact, you do not need to quarantine. You should wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative. As a close contact, you do not need to quarantine. You should wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure.
You may get a call from a healthcare worker or your close contact 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. 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. 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.
What to do if you are waiting for a COVID-19 test result/
What to do if you are diagnosed with COVID-19
What to do if you come into close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
If you think you may have COVID-19 and 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 are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated and have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, stay home and away from others for 14 days after your last known exposure (quarantine).
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 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 mask if you must be around other people inside and outside your household.
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 your 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.

 

Use this resourcepdf icon to help you think of people you may have been around while you may have had COVID-19.

Tell your close contacts that you have COVID-19 right away so that they can quarantine and get tested.
  • 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 around someone with COVID-19.
    • 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.