CloseContact   ShutterFly

Close Contact

You are a "close contact" if any of the following happened while spending time with someone who has COVID-19, even if they didn't have symptoms (with or without a mask on):

  • Had direct physical contact with the person (for example, a hug, kiss, or handshake).
  • Were within 6 feet of the person for a total of more than 15 minutes in a single day.
  • Had contact with the person's respiratory secretions (for example, coughed or sneezed on; contact with a dirty tissue; shared a drinking glass, food, towels, or other personal items).
  • Live with the person or stayed overnight for at least one night in a house with the person.

If you are a close contact, there is a significant risk that you could be infected and pass this disease to others, even if you have no symptoms. In order to prevent spreading this infection to others, and protect public health, you must quarantine immediately. 

QUARANTINE means that you MUST:

1. Remain at your current residence as much as possible, only leaving if absolutely necessary (medical appointment, prescription refill, medical supplies, essential food). This also means not attending work, school, or extracurricular activities during your quarantine.

2. Have no contact with anyone other than those you live with. 

3. Not have anyone enter your home without having a special written permit from our office, with the exception of law enforcement and emergency responders. (Let them know you are on quarantine for COVID-19 before they enter your home.)

4. Limit contact with those you live with as much as possible. *If nobody in your household has tested positive or been in contact with someone who tested positive, your household members do NOT need to quarantine. However, they should minimize contact with others as much as possible.

5. If you or someone you live with should develop symptoms and/or test positive for COVID-19, then your entire household will need to quarantine as soon as possible. 

In addition, please follow the guidance in this flyer Next Steps: close contacts of someone with COVID-19. This information will help prevent you from becoming infected or prevent you from infecting others. 

Please visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website for additional information on quarantine guidelines.


You are required to quarantine for up to 14 days from the date of your last contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. If there is continuous exposure, your quarantine time will be longer than 14 days since you must begin your two-week quarantine after your most recent exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case. Even if you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you could be infected and contagious for up to 14 days from your last exposure, so the best option is to quarantine for 14 days to guarantee you do not spread the virus. Shortening your 14-day quarantine increases the risk of spreading COVID-19. If you do not have symptoms and a 14-day quarantine would create undue hardship, you may shorten your quarantine only under these circumstances:

  • 10 days – You can end your quarantine after 10 full days have passed from your last contact as long as you continue to monitor for symptoms for the remainder of the 14 days.
  • 7 days – You can end your quarantine after 7 full days have passed from your last contact if you get tested (PCR or antigen) no sooner than 6 days after your last contact and your test is negative. You must continue to monitor for symptoms for the remainder of the 14 days.



The CDC has issued an updated quarantine guidance for vaccinated persons, which addressed the quarantine requirements for those who have been vaccinated for COVID-19. A vaccinated person who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 does not have to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., exposure occurs more than 2 weeks after getting the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or more than 2 weeks after getting one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Are within 90 days after getting your last dose of vaccine
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the most recent COVID-19 exposure

Anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after the exposure and should get tested if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19. If vaccinated people do develop symptoms, they should be isolated pending the results of testing, in accordance with current recommendations.

Exceptions to the new quarantine recommendation exist for patients receiving inpatient care in a healthcare setting, and residents of long-term care facilities. Patients and residents in these settings should continue to follow prior guidance requiring quarantine for 14 days after the date of last exposure. This exception is due to the higher risk of severe illness and death among patients in these settings.

During times of high volume, we may not be able to reach you by phone so please read carefully the educational materials provided regarding isolation and quarantine precautions. Please call the Rock County Public Health Department at 608-757-5440 if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 to discuss further instructions and/or if you need a “release from quarantine letter” for return to work or school.