Do I Need to Quarantine After Testing Positive for COVID-19?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test within the past 90 days and have since recovered and remain symptom-free, you do not need to quarantine or get tested after close contact. However, if your test is positive and you have no symptoms, it is important to stay home and isolate for 5 days from the day you were tested. After this period, you can leave your home but should continue wearing a mask around other people for an additional 5 days. If you are unable to wear a mask, it is recommended that you continue to self-isolate at home for the additional 5 days.

It is important to note that you are more likely to contract COVID-19 if you are in close contact with someone who has the virus and is still contagious or can spread the disease to others. If a person who must quarantine cannot feasibly do so, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will not enforce the quarantine recommendation. VDH encourages everyone to keep up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, and increase indoor ventilation, regardless of community level. Evidence shows that most COVID-19 transmissions occur closer to the onset of symptoms, usually 1 to 2 days before and 2 to 3 days after symptoms begin.

To stay safe when going outdoors, it is important to follow prevention tips and be aware of the community level of COVID-19 in your area. Additionally, after traveling on cruise ships, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status. In general, healthcare personnel (HCP) do not require work restrictions after a higher-risk exposure if they are up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and do not develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. If you are identified as a close contact with someone infected with COVID-19, it is recommended that you quarantine for 14 days from the date of last exposure to the infected person. During this period, the person with COVID-19 should separate themselves from all household members as much as possible and follow other recommendations for the sick.

People with COVID-19 can transmit the virus to their close contacts starting 2 days before they get sick (or 2 days before they test positive if they never had symptoms). For more information on these environments, see the COVID-19 Prevention Guide for Students, Teachers, and Staff at Day Care Centers, K-12 Schools, and Day Camps.

Wilbert Cromley
Wilbert Cromley

Extreme coffee evangelist. Evil zombie advocate. Friendly twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble twitter trailblazer. Subtly charming introvert. Proud web ninja.