Last updated September 29, 2020.
These instructions are for people who have been told to quarantine, or who are voluntarily quarantining because they have a household member or close contact that:
- Has a positive COVID-19 test.
- Has symptoms of COVID-19: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
- Is getting ill and thinks they might have COVID-19. Symptoms, especially early on, may be mild and feel like a common cold. Early 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.
- Separates people and restricts their movement if they were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick and prevent exposing others. People with COVID-19 can be contagious even without having symptoms.
- Is for people who are not sick, but who may have been exposed to someone (in close contact with someone) who is sick. This could include members of your household, co-workers, or others you spend a great deal of time with (and are typically within six feet of for 15 minutes or more). Read more about what counts as close contact here: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html.
- Can be voluntary, but Colorado has legal authority to issue quarantine orders to people who were exposed to a contagious disease.
How long does it last?
- Stay at home or stay put in your same location for 14 days after your last exposure so you don’t spread the disease to healthy people.
- If you get sick, contact your local public health department, get tested, and begin following the isolation directions. Find them here: covid19.colorado.gov/isolation-and-quarantine.
- A negative test result does not clear a person to end quarantine as some people don’t become ill for up to 14 days after exposure. A test completed before the end of that time may result as negative due to being collected too early in a person's illness.
- If you live with someone who has COVID-19 and are caring for them or continuing to have contact, your 14-day quarantine will start at the end of the other person’s isolation period.
What else should I do?
Stay home, or in your same location, except to get medical care.
- If you have a medical appointment, call ahead and let them know you are under quarantine (either by order or self-imposed) for COVID-19, so the office can take steps to protect other people. Otherwise:
- Restrict activities outside your home.
- Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
- Avoid using public transportation, rideshares, or taxis.
Practice actions that protect others
- Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. When using hand sanitizer, cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Soap and water is preferred if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away. If a tissue is not available, use your inner elbow or sleeve.
- Immediately clean your hands (see above).
- Avoid sharing personal household items
- Don’t share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
- After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
- Clean surfaces every day
- Clean “high touch” surfaces like counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
- Clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
- Use a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Follow the label directions for correct and safe use of the cleaning product.
If you need to seek medical care, first CALL a provider or clinic first to get instructions BEFORE going to a health care office, hospital, or urgent care.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the dispatcher you are quarantining for COVID-19.