Isolation and Quarantine

Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who are sick or have been exposed to people who are sick. Generally, as long as the site is suitable, a person’s residence is the preferred setting for quarantine and isolation, according to the CDC.

    Isolation applies to people who:
    • Have a positive COVID-19 test.
    • Have symptoms of COVID-19 (coughing, shortness of breath and/or fever).
    • Are getting ill and think they might have COVID-19. Symptoms, especially early on, may be mild and feel like a common cold. Symptoms could include a combination of cough, body aches, fatigue, and chest tightness. Some people may not develop fever or fever may not appear until several days into the illness.

      How to isolate

    Quarantine applies to people who: 
    • Are close contacts of a person who either has a positive test or symptoms --  even early symptoms -- of illness.

      How to quarantine

    Enforcement of isolation and quarantine


    • State and local public health agencies request that Coloradans and visitors from other states or countries voluntarily cooperate with isolation and quarantine instructions.
    • State or local public health agencies may issue isolation and quarantine orders in some high-risk situations or if non-compliance is anticipated. 
    • If people do not follow the orders, public health agencies can involve law enforcement.
    • If enforcement were to become necessary, the entity that issued the order (the state or local public health agency) could file an enforcement action in state district court asking a judge to enforce the order. The court could also levy fines but, on the whole, public health is more interested in compliance with the terms of the order.
    • Public health agencies are working hard to make sure the needs of people in isolation/quarantine are being met to help ensure compliance.

    LEGAL AUTHORITY IN COLORADO