When and how to quarantine and if exposed to coronavirus

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DENVER (KDVR) — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, many are confused about what the protocols are. When should I quarantine? When can I see people if I’ve been exposed? When am I allowed to return to work? Who should get tested?

Here are the facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

What to do after close contact with someone who tests positive?

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Be alert for symptoms (see examples below)
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are higher risk

What is “close contact”?

  • Being within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more
  • Providing care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • Direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • Sharing eating or drinking utensils
  • Being sneezed or coughed on, or touching respiratory droplets

What to do during quarantine?

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • Monitor symptoms
  • Avoid others, especially people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19

When to start or end quarantine after exposure?

  • You should stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, remain in quarantine due to the 14-day incubation period

What are COVID-19 symptoms?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC has continuously updated the list as we learn more about COVID-19.

Afraid to quarantine or get tested because of missing work?

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed under precautionary quarantine, worker protections are in place to ensure that you can isolate yourself, both for your own health and recovery, and for the safety of everyone around you. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order mandating emergency paid sick leave to workers on mandatory or precautionary quarantine. Federal law also requires up to two weeks paid leave for those who work for employers with fewer than 500 employees (though some employers with 50 or fewer employees may be exempt).

Where to get tested?


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