Taking precautions after exposure

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, it’s important to protect the people around you. The following strategies help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Everyone should take these precautions after exposure, even if they have received all recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccines or have recently recovered from COVID-19.

Wear a mask

Wear a well-fitting mask around other people for 10 full days after your exposure. Learn more about how to choose and wear a mask.


Get tested

Take a COVID-19 test on Day 6 after exposure. You can contact a health care provider or pharmacy about testing. COVID-19 tests are also available for free or at low cost across Colorado. Find a COVID-19 test near you.

If your test is positive, begin isolation. Stay at home and apart from other people for 10 full days after you took your test. Let your contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 so that they can protect themselves and those around them. If you have Exposure Notifications enabled on your cell phone, use the service to anonymously alert people you have had close contact with but may not know.

If your test is negative, continue taking precautions, like wearing a mask, for five more full days.


Watch for symptoms

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills.

  • Cough.

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. 

  • Fatigue or tiredness. 

  • Muscle or body aches. 

  • Headache. 

  • New loss of taste or smell. 

  • Sore throat. 

  • Congestion or runny nose. 

  • Nausea or vomiting. 

  • Diarrhea.

If you start to feel any of these symptoms, get tested as soon as possible. If you take a laboratory (PCR) test, isolate while you wait for your results.


Take extra precautions with people at higher risk

If you spend time with people who may be more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, take extra precautions. Spend time outside if possible. If you are indoors, choose a well-ventilated space, or increase ventilation by opening windows, running the HVAC system, and/or running an air purifier.


How to count days after your exposure

The day you were exposed to COVID-19 is Day 0. Day 1 is the first full day after your exposure. CDC recommends counting the days after your exposure starting on Day 1. Get tested on Day 6. Keep wearing a mask and taking other precautions until Day 11.