Your COVID Plan

*1/9/2022 NEW GUIDANCE for Isolation and QuarantineHave you received a positive COVID test result, or been exposed to a positive person? If you do not speak with a contact tracer, or you have an at-home antigen test result (at-home antigen test results do not need to be reported), you need to know what to do. 

We want you, your family and the community to stay safe and healthy so please follow the steps below for isolation and quarantine. 

ISOLATE: POSTIVE TEST 

You must isolate if you have tested positive for COVID whether you are vaccinated or not. This means you must be alone, without direct contact with anyone else, until you can no longer spread the virus.

Stay home for at least 5 days. Stay home for 5 days and isolate yourself from others in your home. Wear a mask if you must be around others in your home. Wear a mask and take precautions until day 10 (see For Everyone below). 

When to End Isolation

  • If you had symptoms, end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) and your symptoms are improving. 
  • If you did not have symptoms, end isolation after at least 5 full days after your positive test. 
  •  If you have COVID and are severely ill, you should be isolated for at least 10 days. Speak with your health care practitioner.

FOR EVERYONE: Take precautions until day 10:

  • Wear a mask. Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days every time you are around others inside your home or in public. 
  • Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask. 
  • Avoid travel
  • Avoid being around people who are at high risk, such as the immunocompromised, at risk for severe disease, or in settings such as nursing homes. 

Calculate your period of isolationDay 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected. 

Notify your close contacts. The people near you who are 'close contacts' while sick or contagious should be notified of your illness, they need to review quarantine options (see definition of close contact below). 

Take care of yourself! Most people have mild illness and recover without medical care, so rest and stay hydrated and take over-the-counter medicine such as Tylenol or Motrin (if it's ok for you to take) to help you feel better. Be sure to call your nurse practitioner or doctor if you need medical care or have any questions.

Isolation guidance with important tips in españolenglish, and simplified chinese. 


quarantine: exposed or Close contact

Close contacts are defined as being within 6 feet of a positive person while indoors, for a total of 15 minutes in a 24 hour period. Masks do not change this. Masks are excellent risk reduction tools and should be combined with other mitigation measures. A person is contagious two days prior to symptoms onset, so you can be in close contact with someone two days before their symptoms start. 

Quarantine length depends on vaccination status: Up-to-Date or Not up-to-Date

Up-to-Date with COVID Vaccinations: If you have been boosted, have completed your primary series of Pfizer or Moderna within the last 5 months, or had a J&J vaccine within the last 2 months: 

  • No quarantine. You do not need to stay home unless you develop symptoms.
  • Get tested if you can*: Even if you don't develop symptoms, get tested if you can at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID. 
  • Watch for symptoms for up to  10 days. 
  • If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately and get tested. Wear a well-fitted mask around other.
  • Wear a mask for 10 days and follow the precautions for EVERYONE below.

Not Up-to-Date with COVID Vaccinations:  If you are unvaccinated, completed your primary series of Pfizer or Moderna over 5 months ago and are not boosted, or had a J&J vaccine over 2 months ago and are not boosted, you should: 

  • Stay home for a minimum of 5 days: Stay home for 5 days. Wear a mask if you must be around others in your home. 
  • Gest tested if you can*, at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID. 
  • After quarantine: watch for symptoms for up to 10 days. If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately and get tested. Wear a well-fitted mask around other. 
  • Wear a mask for 10 days and follow the precautions for EVERYONE below.

FOR EVERYONE: Take precautions until day 10:

  • Wear a mask: For 10 full days wear a well fitted mask whenever you are around others, inside whether you are home or in public. 
  • Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask. 
  • Avoid travel
  • Avoid being around people who are at high risk: such as the immunocompromised, at risk for severe disease, or in settings such as nursing homes. 

*Testing is recommended but it is not required. If you are unable to get a test 5 days after last close contact with someone with COVID-19, you can leave your home after day 5 if you have been without symptoms throughout the 5-day period. Wear a well fitted mask for 10 days after your date of last close contact when around others at home and in public.

Calculate your period of quarantine: Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected.  

Quarantine guidance with important tips in españolenglishportuguésCape Verdeanand simplified chinese.


Other Setting Guidelines

Congregate Settings: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health states to follow General Population Guidelines, see DPH statement here.

Health Care Personnel:  Review definitions, Isolation and Quarantine guidance here

Links to Guidance: 

Original guidance can be found at the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public DPH.

Contact your provider if any health concerns or questions.  If you need health insurance or a provider, please call the Amherst Health Department at 413-259-3077.