What To Do If You Are On Quarantine or Self-Isolation

Why am I quarantined for 14 days?

Quarantine is for people who are not sick and don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19, but who may have been exposed to the virus. You will be asked to quarantine for 14 days if you have been exposed to the virus. You can be exposed to the virus in many ways such as traveling to an area where there are a lot of people with COVID-19 or being in close contact with someone who has it. If someone in your house tests positive you should quarantine. Quarantine keeps you away from others, so you don’t infect someone else.

What should I do on quarantine?

  • Stay home for 14 days.
  • Limit the number of visitors to your home.
  • Leave your house only if you have to or to get medical care.
  • Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
  • Clean surfaces that are touched often (phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops, and anything metal).

This is called social distancing. Stay home as much as possible. Ask someone else to go to the store for you to get groceries or supplies. If that is not possible, try to go to the store only when you have to. Social distancing is important because it slows the spread of COVID-19. Even if you are not sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay home from work, school, or church. Avoiding crowds protects you and your family. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. If you need to go somewhere or be around groups of people, wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you can. If soap and water are not available, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If you are older than 60 or have other health problems, stay home and away from other people.

Will someone check on me every day to see how I am feeling?

There are two ways you may be asked to monitor for symptoms. One way is called active-monitoring. On active-monitoring, someone from your local health department will call you one time a day to check on you and ask you how you are feeling. The health department may call to check on you. If you miss the call, it is important to call them back as soon as possible.

The other way is called self-monitoring. On self-monitoring, the health department will not call you every day. Instead, you will monitor your symptoms every day and call your local health department if you have any questions or concerns. If you get sick or develop other symptoms while you are on quarantine, you should get tested for COVID-19.

No matter which monitoring you are asked to do, if you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, or a decrease in your sense of taste or smell, get tested for COVID-19. You can find a testing location near you at: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/testing-locations/.

Why do I need to write down my temperature and symptoms for 14 days?

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, it may take up to 14 days to know if you will get sick. This does NOT mean you will get sick, but it is important to write down your temperature and symptoms every day, just in case you do.

If you get sick on quarantine, call your doctor and the health department. You may need to be tested for COVID-19. You also need to self-isolate right away.

Testing

The health department may ask you to get tested for COVID-19, even if you don’t feel sick.

If you test positive, follow the self-isolation guidelines on page 5. Someone from the health department will call you.

If you test negative, you must finish your 14-day quarantine even if you don’t feel sick.

How do I monitor my symptoms?

Use the following steps to check your symptoms and write down your information. You need to do these steps 2 times every day for the 14 days you are on quarantine unless the health department tells you to stop. The health department will tell you the date of last exposure and the date you can stop writing down your temperature and symptoms.

Step 1: Take your temperature 2 times a day. Do this every day for 14 days.

  • Use a thermometer to take your temperature.
  • If you don’t have a thermometer, write down if you think you have a fever (your skin may feel hot or be red, or you may have chills or be sweaty).
  • Take your temperature one time in the morning (AM) and one time at night (PM). If you forget to take your temperature, take it as soon as you remember.
  • Important things to know about taking your temperature:
  • Wait for 30 minutes after you eat, drink, or exercise to take your temperature.
  • Take your temperature before you take any medicine. Some medicines lower your temperature which makes it hard to know if you have a fever. Wait 6 hours to take your temperature after you take medicine like:
    • Acetaminophen, also called paracetamol (Tylenol)
    • Ibuprofen
    • Aspirin
  • It’s best to use an ear thermometer for infants, babies, and children younger than 4 years old. If you take your child’s temperature under the arm and the temperature is 99.4*F/37.4*C or higher, your child has a fever. It is important to tell the doctor or the local health department if you take your child’s temperature under the arm.

Step 2: Write your temperature and symptoms on the form at the end of this book. Do this every day for 14 days.

The date of last exposure on the form is the day you were exposed to COVID-19. It may be the last time you were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or the day you got home from traveling. The date you can stop monitoring your temperature and symptoms is 14 days after the date of exposure. If you don’t know what these dates are, call the health department. Fill in all of the dates for 14 days. Do not leave any spaces empty.

Write your temperature on the form at the end of this book. You should take your temperature 2 times every day. Take your temperature one time in the morning (AM) and one time at night (PM).

If you have any of the symptoms listed on the form, mark “Y” for yes or “N” for no.

Step 3: Clean the thermometer Step 3 every time someone uses it.

Step 4: If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, or a decrease in your sense of taste or smell:

  • If you feel like you need to see a doctor right away, call and tell them you are being monitored for COVID-19 before you go to their office or a clinic. Call the doctor first to receive instructions
  • If you think you need to call 911, tell them you are being monitored for COVID-19.
  • Call your local health department. If you can’t get a hold of them, call the Utah Department of Health at 1-888-374-8824.
  • If your temperature is 100.4°F/38°C or higher, you have a fever.
  • If you took your child’s temperature under the arm and the temperature is 99.4°F/37.4°C or higher, your child has a fever. It is important to tell the doctor or the local health department if you take your child’s temperature under the arm.

When do I self-isolate?

Self-isolation is for people who are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19. Everyone who lives in your house should stay at home if someone in your house tests positive for COVID-19. Self-isolation is for people who are not sick enough to be in the hospital. Your doctor may tell you to recover at home. Isolation keeps sick people away from healthy people to stop sickness from spreading.

Self-isolation means

  • Stay home unless you need medical care.
  • Try to stay in a different room than other people in your house. If this is not possible, stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
  • Try to use a different bathroom than the other people who live in your house.
  • Clean surfaces that are touched often (phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops, and anything metal).
  • Do not travel if you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water right after you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose. If you do not have soap or water, you can use use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Try to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has 60% to 95% alcohol.
  • Wear a face mask if you have to be around other people (if you have to be in the same room or car). If you can’t wear a face mask because it makes it hard for you to breathe, stay in a different room from other people. If people come into your room, they should wear a face mask.

When can I stop self-isolation?

If you tested positive and had symptoms

You should stay isolated from other people until you have been fever-free, and your symptoms have gotten better for at least 24 hours and it has been at least 10 days since you first got sick. This means you did not use medicine to lower your fever and all your other symptoms are gone. Other people in your home should quarantine for 14 days since the last time they were around you. Everyone in your house should quarantine until everyone is better.

If you tested positive but did not have symptoms

If you tested positive for COVID-19 but never had symptoms, you can stop self-isolation 10 days after you tested positive.

If you test negative, you must finish your 14-day quarantine even if you don’t feel sick.

**If you practice quarantine and self-isolation it should stop most, but not all, of the spread of COVID-19 to other people you come in close contact with. COVID-19 is most easily spread when you have symptoms (when you are coughing and have a fever). Once you have recovered from COVID-19, it is much less likely you will spread the virus to someone else.

How do I call my local health department?

You should call your local health department first if you have questions. If you can’t reach your local health department, call the Utah Department of Health at 1-888-EPI-UTAH (374-8824).

Utah County Health Department –  (801) 851-7000

Brought to you by Utah Association of Local Health Departments Coronavirus.utah.gov