Updated August 12, 2021
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 quarantine guidelines and how to get tested.
Share the quarantine guidelines.
Quarantine guidelines can change depending on the local spread of COVID-19. The safest option is to quarantine for 14 days. How long should you 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.
All close contacts with or without symptoms should get tested, whether they are fully vaccinated or not.
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. It’s best if they wait at least 4 days from when they were around you before taking a test. The test may not work if they get tested too soon. If they test positive, they should tell anyone they’ve been in close contact with.
A health worker may call them.
A public health worker may call your contacts as part of contact tracing. If they do call, all information will be kept private and is not shared with the federal government, ICE, or landlords.
Health workers will not ask for Social Security numbers, bank information, or credit cards.
What to expect if a health worker calls.