Updated March 24, 2022

Tell your close contacts right away

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you can help slow the spread by telling those you’ve been in close contact with right away. Close contact means spending 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of someone with or without a mask in any single day.

  • If you had or have symptoms: Contact the people you were in close contact with beginning 2 days before your symptoms began.

  • If you did not or do not have symptoms: Contact the people you were in close contact with beginning 2 days before you took your COVID-19 test.

Call, email, or text close contacts as soon as possible. Timing matters! 

People are most contagious the day or two before they have symptoms and some people never show symptoms.

If you can reach your friends and family within 4 days of their being around you, you can keep more people from getting sick with COVID-19. The sooner you let your contacts know, the sooner they can take action to stop the spread.

Anyone can get COVID-19. You are not alone. You may feel uncomfortable or nervous telling your close contacts. Remember you are protecting their health and the health of their family and friends by telling them as soon as possible. Tell close contacts you tested positive for COVID-19 and share the guidelines and how to get tested.

Tell them to watch themselves for symptoms

Close contacts should watch themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days and consider masking around others. 

Unless your close contacts live or work in some high-risk settings, such as health care or correctional facilities, they do not have to quarantine. 

If your close contacts have symptoms at any time, they need to isolate themselves from others.

Tell close contacts where they can get tested

It’s best if they can be tested 5 days after they were around you. The test may not work if they get tested too soon.

They can talk to their doctor about getting a test, call 2-1-1 if they don’t have a doctor, or get tested at a community test site. 

Testing appointments and home tests may be hard to find. Whether or not they get tested, if they have symptoms they should follow the isolation guidelines