What to do if you're sick

Quarantine and Isolation Guidance Banner

If you do test positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate. People who are in isolation should separate themselves from others living with them by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom if possible. They are required to stay home and away from others (unless to seek medical care) until they meet release guidelines.

Note: As of December 27, 2021, the CDC has updated its isolation and quarantine guidance, which follows.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate at home and away from others for at least 5 days after testing positive. Isolation can only end once symptoms have resolved, which may take longer than the 5-day minimum. Once isolation has ended, a mask should be worn around others for at least 5 days.

What if I am fully vaccinated and have received my booster dose, and am exposed to COVID-19?

An exposure occurs when a person comes into close contact (within 6 feet) within someone who has COVID-19 for more than fifteen minutes. Those who are exposed to COVID-19 and have received a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are not required to quarantine. Following a close contact, people who have received a booster dose should wear a mask for 10 days when around others.

What if I am fully vaccinated, but have not yet received my booster dose when I am exposed to COVID-19? 

Individuals who are fully vaccinated but have not received a booster dose, those who are not fully vaccinated, and those who are unvaccinated should quarantine. Quarantine following a COVID-19 exposure should last for 5 days followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others. Those who begin experiencing symptoms should continue quarantining until they are able to get tested.

When should I get tested?

Anyone who is exposed to COVID-19 should get test 5-7 days after the exposure occurs. Appointments are required for COVID-19 testing at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and can now be made online at health.springfieldmo.gov/testing or by calling the COVID-19 Call Center at 417-874-1211. Individuals who book an appointment will receive a test at the Health Department Vaccination Clinic, located at 1425 E. Battlefield Road (old Toys R Us). The NAAT tests used at the clinic have high accuracy (like the PCR test) and are administered via a throat swab. Results are available within 24–72 hours.

Why am I being instructed to quarantine if I was released from isolation?

Even if an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is released from isolation, they should self-quarantine anytime they come into close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual for at least 15 cumulative minutes. A close contact also includes someone who has physically come in contact with someone, regardless of the amount of time. More information is needed to know whether immune protection will be observed for patients with COVID-19.

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