What to Do If You Are Diagnosed with or Exposed to COVID-19 (Isolation and Quarantine)


This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

To avoid transmitting COVID-19 to others, stay at home if you have COVID-19 or if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19.

If You Have COVID-19

Isolate for at least 10 days, even if you have been vaccinated.

Try mAb (monoclonal antibody) treatment if your symptoms are mild to moderate, or you are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Full details »

If you have a positive COVID-19 test, stay home even if you do not have symptoms.

Stay home until:

  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms began (or since your positive test, if you have no symptoms),

  • AND it has been at least 24 hours since you last had a fever, without using fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen),

  • AND your symptoms have improved.

Remaining at home is important to prevent transmitting infection to others.

  • Do not go to work until your isolation period ends.
  • Keep apart from others in your home as much as possible (including pets). Use a separate bathroom and bedroom if you can.
  • You do not need a negative test to end your isolation.

If You Have Been in Close Contact with Someone with COVID-19

Close contact is being within six feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more in one day.

You may need to stay at home if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if you live with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Exposure is being in close contact (within 6 feet) of someone with COVID-19 for more than a total of 15 minutes in one day.

If you are fully vaccinated with no symptoms since your exposure, and it has been at least two weeks after your last vaccination dose:

  • You do not need to stay at home.
  • You should wear a mask in public for the next 14 days.
  • 3 to 5 days after your exposure, you should be tested for COVID-19 to make sure you are not infected.

If you have already had COVID-19

You do not need to stay at home if:

  • You have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days,
  • and it has been at least 10 days since your test (or when your symptoms began),
  • and you no longer have symptoms.

If you have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days and recovered, you should:

  • Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days after exposure.
  • Watch for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Check with a healthcare provider about testing recommendations if you do develop symptoms.

Otherwise you should quarantine at home.

  • Check your temperature twice a day, and watch for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Be tested immediately for COVID-19. If the test is negative, be tested again 5 to 7 days after your exposure, and continue to quarantine.
  • If your test is positive, follow the steps for isolation above. If your test is negative, you may be able to end quarantine sooner (see below). Please let your health care provider know that you have been exposed when you go in for testing.
  • If you do develop symptoms, get tested for COVID-19 immediately, and isolate (see above).
  • Go to your workplace only if you have no symptoms and you are considered essential by your employer. Wear a mask at all times while at work, and have your temperature and symptoms monitored by your employer. Continue quarantining at home when you are not at work.

End your quarantine and return to work when:

  • 14 days have passed, and you have no symptoms.
  • or after 10 days if you have had no symptoms for the entire ten days, AND you continue to check for fever and other symptoms. You should wear a mask in public until 14 days have passed since the start of your quarantine.
  • or after 7 days if you have had no symptoms for the entire seven days, and you have had a negative COVID-19 test in the last three days (day 5, 6 or 7 of your quarantine). Do not end quarantine sooner, even if your test is negative. Continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing at all times in public, and continue to check for fever and other symptoms until 14 days have passed since the start of your quarantine.

MSDH strongly encourages a full 14-day quarantine, especially for household contacts of an infected person or those in congregate living settings.

Last reviewed on Jul 20, 2020
Get COVID-19 e-mail updates daily with our free newsletter: 
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U Contact and information

Facebook Twitter Instagram RSS

Accredited by the national Public Health Accreditation Board