Isolation, Quarantine, and Masking Guidelines
(Last updated 8/26/2021 at 9:00am)
These guidelines and recommendations are applicable if you TEST POSITIVE for COVID-19.
If you test positive, regardless of whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Cascade City-County Health Department (CCHD) strongly recommend that you isolate until the following three conditions have ALL been met:
1. It has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared; or, if you have no symptoms, it has been at least 10 days since your test date;
2. You have had no fever (100.4° F / 38° C or higher) for at least 24 hours, without the use of a fever-reducing medication;
3. Your other symptoms are improved.
While isolating, you should stay home (except for emergency care) and minimize interaction with other household members as much as possible. If interaction with household members is unavoidable, you should wear a face covering, practice physical distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from other people, limit the duration of any necessary close contact with others, wash your hands often, and sanitize any surfaces you contact.
These guidelines and recommendations are applicable if you have CLOSE CONTACT WITH A POSITIVE CASE but have not tested positive yourself.
Close contact means you either had direct physical contact with an infected individual or you were within 6 feet of the infected individual for 15 cumulative minutes or more in a 24-hour period.
EXCEPTION: In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the definition of close contact excludes students who were within 3-6 feet of an infected student (lab-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time.
If you are a close contact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Cascade City-County Health Department (CCHD) strongly recommend that you follow the following guidelines and recommendations.
If you are fully vaccinated:
- You do not need to quarantine unless you are symptomatic;
- You are encouraged to test at 3-5 days after exposure;
- You should mask indoors in public for 14 days following the exposure, or until your 3-5 day test is returned as negative (a test earlier than 3 days following exposure is too early to be relied upon);
- If you develop symptoms at any time, immediately self-isolate and get tested.
If you are not fully vaccinated:
- Quarantine for at least 10 days;
- If you test on day 5 or later after exposure, AND you do not have any symptoms, you may end your quarantine after day 7. If you do not test on day 5 or later, or if you test earlier than day 5, then you must complete the full 10 day quarantine period.
Quarantine means separating yourself from others who have not been exposed to COVID-19. This helps to prevent the spread of the disease. You should always remain at home during quarantine (except for testing or emergency care) and minimize interaction with other household members. If interaction with household members is unavoidable, you should wear a face covering, practice physical distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from members of your household, and limit close contact with others to less than 15 minutes per 24-hour period.
If at any time you develop the following symptoms, contact your primary care provider, urgent care, or the local emergency room for further guidance.
- New loss of taste or smell
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
In areas with “substantial” or “high” transmission rates, the CDC is recommending that everyone wear a mask indoors in public places. This includes fully vaccinated persons. Cascade County is currently classified as having the highest level of community transmission - this can be monitored here. Accordingly, CCHD strongly recommends that all persons age two or older wear a mask indoors in public places, even if you are fully vaccinated.
Additionally, in areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, such as Cascade County, the CDC recommends that people “consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.”