Updated October 12, 2020
If you have been around someone who has COVID-19, you may need to figure out if you have been in close contact with them.
Close contact means spending at least 15 minutes or more at one time within 6 feet of someone (family, friend, co-worker, acquaintance or someone you don’t know) with or without a face covering.
If you have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, you are at a higher risk of getting sick and spreading the disease to others.
How will you know if you have been in close contact?
A call from a public health worker
You may get a call from a public health worker to let you know you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. If you get a call, follow their instructions. Why they might be calling you»
Family, friends or someone else
You may hear from a friend, family or your workplace that someone you know has COVID-19. Or you may find out that you visited a business where someone tested positive.
Because there are laws that protect people’s privacy, you might not know exactly who was sick.
To figure out if you had close contact, recall your activities and the precautions you took. Think about:
- Who you were around and for how long
- What activities you engaged in
- What preventive measures you practiced when you were in the building.
Just being in the same building as someone who tested positive for COVID-19 does not necessarily mean you had close contact.
If you're not sure or have questions, call your doctor's office or clinic. If you don't have a doctor call 211.
What should you do?
If you were around someone long enough, you might need to take steps to separate yourself from others.
If you didn’t have close contact, but were around someone with COVID-19, monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days starting from the last time you were around them. Get ready to isolate yourself from others if you start to feel sick.
If you did have close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should quarantine or isolate yourself to prevent spreading the virus to others. Talk to your doctor about getting tested, even if you don’t have symptoms. If you don’t have a doctor, call 211. It’s best if you wait 3-4 days after you were exposed before taking a test. The test may not work if you get tested too soon. You should stay home and away from others while you wait.
I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Should I Isolate or Quarantine?
If you had close contact, but don’t feel sick, quarantine
If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should stay home even if you don’t feel sick. This is also called quarantine»
Stay home for 14 days after you were exposed, even if you test negative. You might become sick with COVID-19 later.
If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from the rest of your household.
If you feel sick or test positive, isolate
If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and have symptoms or if you test positive (even if you don’t feel sick), stay home and keep away from other people, even those in your own home. This is also called isolation»
Talk to your doctor about testing and care. If you don’t have a doctor, call 211 or the Health Department's Primary Care Clinics at 503-988-5558 to enroll as a new patient.
Resources to help you stay home
Find resources to help you stay home (groceries, financial support, help with rent, other essentials). Call 211 for more information. Interpreters are available.