While far below past surges, the COVID cases across the U.S. are ticking up this summer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospital admissions are now up 14.3% in the most recent week. Deaths are also increasing, up 8.3% in the period from June 24 to Aug. 12. Health officials urge people to continue to take care to prevent spreading the virus to others, including periods of quarantine.
If you are sick and suspect you have COVID-19 but do not have test results, you should isolate yourself from others. If you test negative you can end your isolation.
If you test positive, you should:
- Stay at home at least five days and isolate yourself from others in your home as you are most likely infectious during these first five days.
- Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home or in public.
- Do not travel
- Stay at home and separate from others as much as possible, including using a separate restroom.
- Don’t share personal items like cups, towels, or utensils.
How long should you quarantine?
- If you have no symptoms, you can end your quarantine after day five. If you have symptoms that are improving, you can end your isolation after five days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication.
- If your symptoms are not improving, you should continue to isolate until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your symptoms are improving.
- If you had a moderate level of illness, such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, isolate through day 10.
- If you had a severe illness, including if you were hospitalized, or have a weakened immune system, isolate through day 10 and consult your doctor before leaving quarantine.
Regardless of when you end isolation, you should do the following until at least day 11:
- Avoid being around people who are more likely to get extremely sick from COVID-19
- Wear a high-quality mask when indoors at home or in public
- If you’ve ended isolation and are feeling better with no fever without being medicated and your symptoms are improving, you should wear a mask through day 10. If you have two sequential negative COVID tests 48 hours apart, you can remove your mask before day 10.
- If you have ended isolation and your COVID symptoms recur or worsen, restart your isolation at day 10.