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.

How To Talk To Your Close Contacts

How To Talk To Your Close Contacts

What To Do If You Have COVID-19

Slow The Spread Of COVID-19

People diagnosed with COVID-19 can still spread the virus even if they don’t have any symptoms.

If You Have COVID-19

Graphic of a yellow house

Stay Home. Don’t leave your home except to get medical care if needed. Avoid being around others for at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared. This includes 24 hours with no fever, without use of fever-reducing medication, and without other symptoms of COVID-19. For those without symptoms, stay home for at least 10 days after your positive specimen collection date.

Graphic of people wearing masks and standing six feet apart

Protect Those In Your Household by wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others in your household, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, not sharing personal household items (for example, cups, plates), cleaning high-touch surfaces in shared spaces, and improving ventilation in your home. See suggestions for those living in close quarters and shared housing.

Graphic of a cell phone

Notify Close Contacts and let them know you have COVID-19 so that they can quarantine at home and get tested. You are still considered a close contact even if you were wearing a mask while you were around someone with COVID-19.

For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who you were within 6 feet for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

  • An infected person can transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, starting 48 hours (2 days) before they have symptoms or their positive specimen collection date.
    • People who are infected but do not show symptoms (asymptomatic) and those who do not yet have symptoms (pre-symptomatic) can spread the virus to others.
  • People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine.
  • Fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days following the date of their exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. They should isolate if they test positive.
  • People who were previously diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last three months may not be required to

Who Are Your Close Contacts?

People you have been around during the two-day period prior to the start of your symptoms (or if you are asymptomatic, two days before your positive COVID-19 specimen collection date), through to the time you start isolation, are at greatest risk of infection and should be prioritized for notification.

Make A List Of Close Contacts To Notify. Think About:

  • Who lives with you?
  • Have you gone to work or school?
  • Have you gotten together with others (eaten out at a restaurant, gone out for drinks, exercised with others or gone to a gym, had friends or family over to your house, volunteered, gone to a party, pool, or park)?
  • Have you gone to a store in person (for example, the grocery store, mall)?
  • Have you gone to in-person appointments (for example, the salon, barber, doctor’s or dentist’s office)?
  • Have you ridden in a car with others (for example, using rideshare apps) or taken public transportation?
  • Have you been inside a church, synagogue, mosque or other places of worship?
Notify People You Have Been Around That They May Have Been Exposed To COVID-19
illustration of a small group of people maintaining physical distance

By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect them and others within your community. You can call, text, or email your contacts. 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).

An example of what to say to your contacts:

“Hi. I need to talk to you about something important. Do you have a few minutes to talk privately? I was diagnosed with COVID-19 (or tested positive) on [xxx date]. We spent time together on [xxx date], and I wanted to let you know, so that you can get tested to protect your family and others within and outside your household. CDC recommends that you stay home, separate yourself from others for 14 days except to get medical care, get tested for COVID-19, and continue to monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19.”