Quarantining prevents the ongoing spread of the virus to other people by individuals who know they have been exposed or are likely to have been exposed, but do not yet know if they have been infected. It’s a precaution and an effective tool to prevent viral spread since people infected with COVID-19 can be contagious even without having symptoms.
If you are a) fully vaccinated and have received a booster OR b) have recently* been fully vaccinated:
and had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you don’t need to quarantine after being exposed unless symptoms develop. However, you should get tested 5 days after your last exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask at home and in public for 10 days following exposure.
If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 in the 10 days after exposure, you should isolate and get tested immediately. A list of symptoms to monitor for can be found on the CDC's COVID-19 symptoms webpage.
*A person is recently vaccinated if it has been ≤5 months after the second shot of Pfizer or Moderna or ≤2 months after the single dose of Johnson and Johnson.
If you are a) fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but have not received a booster OR b) not fully vaccinated:
and had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, follow the instructions on how to quarantine to prevent further transmission. You should stay home for at least 5 days starting after the last day you were in close contact with a person who has COVID-19. You should not go to work or school and should avoid public places, and if possible, stay away from other people you live with. A list of symptoms to monitor for can be found on the CDC's COVID-19 symptoms webpage.
Quarantine can end after day 5 from your last date of exposure if you are able to wear a well-fitting mask. A well-fitting mask should be worn through the 10th day of quarantine. If you cannot wear a well-fitting mask, quarantine should end after day 10 rather than after day 5. Daily symptom monitoring, however, should continue for the full 10 days after the last close contact with a sick person.
Quarantining individuals are recommended to take a COVID-19 test on day 5 of quarantine. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 in the 10 days after exposure, you should get tested immediately.