Protect Yourself

COVID-19 is a new disease. We learn more every day about the virus that causes COVID-19 and the best ways to stop the pandemic. We know this can make it hard to know what to do. If you can’t find what you are looking for, call our Coronavirus Hotline at 1-800-456-7707 or use the webchat feature on our website.

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested. 

 
 

If you came into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 while they were infectious, you should quarantine and get tested. You need to finish your quarantine even if you test negative. If you are not fully vaccinated, wait 7 days after the last time you were around the person to get tested. This lets enough of the virus build up in your body to be detected by the tests. Getting tested too soon can result in an inaccurate test result. We know there is a small chance vaccinated people can get COVID-19 (called a breakthrough case) and pass the virus to other people, so to be very safe we suggest vaccinated people get a COVID-19 test 3 days after they were exposed.

After you get tested for COVID-19, go home right away. Don’t stop at the store, your workplace, or other people’s homes. Stay at home until you get your test result.

Some COVID-19 tests are more accurate than others. Rapid antigen tests work best when someone has symptoms of COVID-19. If you were tested with a rapid antigen test, you may need to get a PCR test to confirm the results. You can learn more about how much COVID-19 testing costs, the types of COVID-19 tests, and how to get your test results at https://coronavirus.utah.gov/testing-locations.



If you are exposed to COVID-19

You should quarantine if you are exposed to COVID-19. This means you were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 while that person was infectious.

During quarantine, you should stay home and away from other people as much as possible. You should not go to work, school, extracurricular activities, religious services, family gatherings, or other activities.




Emergency Notifications

The State of Utah has partnered with Apple and Google to enable emergency notifications on your smart devices. This technology allows individuals to be notified if they come in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Click here for more information about EN Express

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine is for people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but aren’t sick yet. Isolation is for people who have tested positive or have symptoms of COVID-19.


You should isolate if you test positive for COVID-19

Isolation 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive, you should isolate. This means you stay at home except to get medical care. You should isolate until you have been: 

  • Fever-free for 24 hours (this means you did not use medicine to lower your fever), and 
  • Your respiratory symptoms have improved for 24 hours, and
  • It has been at least 10 days since you first got sick. 
  • If you did not have symptoms, isolate for 10 days from the day you were tested. 

If you test positive for COVID-19, try to stay in a different room in your home from other people. You should also try to use a different bathroom than other people. If you can’t stay in a different room or use a different bathroom, stay as far away from other people in your home as possible. Wear a mask if you need to be around other people. Don’t share personal items like cups, plates, or towels. Clean surfaces that are touched often (like phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops, and anything metal). 

You are infectious and can spread the virus to others starting up to 2 days before you first had symptoms until your isolation period is over. If you never had symptoms, you are infectious starting 2 days before the day you were tested for COVID-19. Anyone who came into close contact with you during this time should quarantine.

If you test positive for COVID-19, anyone who lives in your home should quarantine for 10 days from the last time they were in close contact with you during isolation.

A public health worker will also try to contact you if you test positive to conduct a case investigation. Sometimes people call this contact tracing. A public health worker may call you or send you a text or email.

You should quarantine if you are exposed to COVID-19

Quarantine

You should quarantine if you were exposed to COVID-19. This means you were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 while that person was infectious.

Close contact means:

  • You were closer than 6 feet from someone who has the virus for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or longer in a 24 hour period.
  • You cared for someone at home who is sick with COVID-19.
  • You had direct physical contact with the person who has COVID-19 (hugged or kissed them).
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils with the person who has COVID-19.
  • The person who has COVID-19 sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

Quarantine keeps you away from others so you don’t infect someone else without knowing it. Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure. This is why you should monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the last date of exposure, because it can take 14 days for you to get sick.


If you are fully vaccinated, you don’t need to quarantine after being exposed to someone with COVID-19. 

We know there is a small chance vaccinated people can get COVID-19 (called a breakthrough case) and pass the virus to other people, so to be very safe we suggest vaccinated people get a COVID-19 test 3 days after they were exposed.

If you are not vaccinated, you may end quarantine: 

    • On day 10 without testing. If you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, you can end quarantine 10 days after the last time you had close contact with the person who tested positive.
    • On day 7 with a negative test result. You can get tested on day 7. You can end quarantine if your test is negative and you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. You must wait at least 7 days after your exposure to be tested. The test can be a PCR or rapid antigen test. You must continue to quarantine until you get your test results back.
    • You must quarantine for 10 days if you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms or test negative. 
    • You must quarantine for 10 days if you live or work in a congregate living setting (like a group home or dormitory) and were exposed to COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms or test negative.  
    • Employees and residents of long-term care facilities will continue to follow a 14-day quarantine because the chance for spread and severe illness is very high.

      Take safety precautions after you are exposed to COVID-19:

      • Check for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after your exposure, including taking your temperature if possible. If you do not have a thermometer, check your skin to see if it feels warm or looks red. A helpful booklet called, “What to do if you are on quarantine or isolation,” can help you know how to check your symptoms and what to do. 
      • Stay home and away from other people as much as possible. Do not go to school, work, extracurricular activities, religious services, family gatherings, or other activities until your quarantine is over. 
      • Wear a face mask if you need to leave your home to get medical care. Only leave your home if you have to. 
      • Limit the number of visitors to your home. 
      • Clean surfaces that are touched often (phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops, and anything metal). 
      • Wash hands with soap and water often. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. 
      • Open the windows as much as you can to improve the ventilation and increase air exchanges in rooms. 
      • Do not share food or utensils with other people.

      Fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine and can continue to go to work, school, and participate in events. We know there is a small chance vaccinated people can get COVID-19 (called a breakthrough case) and pass the virus to other people, so to be very safe we suggest vaccinated people get a COVID-19 test 3 days after they were exposed.


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      If you live with someone who has COVID-19, you must quarantine for 10 days even if your test is negative.
      If symptoms develop, isolate and get tested.

      If you live with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you need to quarantine for at least 10 days.

      You are at a much higher risk of getting infected with the virus. Do not end quarantine before 10 days, even if you test negative. It can be very hard to stay isolated from people who have COVID-19 and live in your home. This means you may need to quarantine longer than 10 days if you can’t stay away from the person who was sick. Every time you come into close contact with the person who tested positive while they are infectious, your 10-day quarantine starts over.

      A public health worker may also try to contact you if you were exposed to COVID-19. This is called contact tracing. A public health worker may call you or send you a text or email.

      Understanding the date of exposure 
      The date of exposure is when the person who tested positive for COVID-19 was first considered infectious and could spread the virus to others. This date begins 2 days before the person has symptoms. If the person did not have symptoms, he or she is infectious starting 2 days before the person was tested for COVID-19. Anyone who came into close contact with the person who tested positive from the date of exposure until the person has ended isolation and is no longer considered infectious, is exposed and should quarantine for 10 days from the day they were exposed.


      How do I know when I can end quarantine?

      You should quarantine 10 full days from your date of exposure. Or you can be tested on day 7 of quarantine and if you test negative and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you can end quarantine.

      Remember, if you live with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you must finish the 10-day quarantine, even if your test result is negative. Your 10-day quarantine starts AFTER the person who is positive is done with isolation. This means you may be in quarantine longer than 10 days. 


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      Do I have to quarantine again if I’ve already had COVID-19? 

      If you are exposed to COVID-19 again (a new exposure) within 90 days of testing positive for COVID-19 and do not have symptoms of COVID-19, you don’t need to quarantine. You also don’t need to be tested again for COVID-19. 

      You should follow these guidelines for 14 days from the date of your last exposure:

      • Take your temperature before work. 
      • Check for symptoms of COVID-19 every day. 
      • Wear a face covering when you are around people you don’t live with. 
      • If you get sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, isolate for at least 10 days after symptom onset and call a doctor or healthcare provider to determine if you should get tested for COVID-19 again. 

      If you are exposed to COVID-19 again (a new exposure) and it has been more than 90 days since you tested positive for COVID-19, you should quarantine. You should get tested for COVID-19 again. If you get sick or have symptoms while on quarantine, isolate and call a doctor or healthcare provider.

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      Getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family, and your community healthy and safe. 

      All COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA are safe and are effective. They keep you from getting sick, needing to be hospitalized, and dying from COVID-19. Studies show the vaccines work against the variants of the virus identified so far. By getting vaccinated, you can end the damage to the economy, prevent more illnesses and deaths in America, and eliminate and eradicate COVID-19.

      You do NOT need to wait 90-days after testing positive to get vaccinated. You can get vaccinated as soon as you are no longer in isolation or quarantine and you don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19.

      Learn More

      How do COVID-19 vaccination affect quarantine and isolation guidelines?

      You are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

      Two-dose vaccines: 2 weeks after 2nd shot (Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna).
      One-dose vaccines: 2 weeks after shot (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen).

      This means you don’t have to quarantine if it has been 2 weeks since your final shot, even if you are exposed to someone who tests positive. Fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine and can continue to go to work, school, and participate in events. We know there is a small chance vaccinated people can get COVID-19 (called a breakthrough case) and pass the virus to other people, so to be very safe we suggest vaccinated people get a COVID-19 test 3 days after they were exposed.

      COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective at protecting you from the virus. However, there are certain circumstances when you may need to quarantine or isolate, even after you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine.


      What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19:


      If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and:

      Have not been vaccinated yet


      Isolate and get tested right away.

      Have been partially vaccinated

      (had only 1 dose of a 2-dose vaccine, like Pfizer or Moderna)


      Isolate and get tested right away.



      If you are fully vaccinated and have symptoms of COVID-19:

      (had 2 doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine)

      If it has NOT been 2 weeks since you were vaccinated


      Isolate and get tested right away.

      If it has been at least 2 weeks since you were vaccinated


      Isolate and call your doctor or healthcare provider. It is likely that something other than COVID-19 is causing your symptoms. However, we know there is a small chance vaccinated people can get COVID-19 (called a breakthrough case) and pass the virus to other people, so to be very safe we suggest vaccinated people get a COVID-19 test 3 days after they were exposed. COVID-19 vaccines do not interfere with the accuracy of the test.

      What to do if you’re exposed to COVID-19:


      If you haven’t had your final dose of the vaccine and are exposed to someone who tests positive:

      Have not been vaccinated yet


      Quarantine and get tested for COVID-19.

      Have been partially vaccinated

      (had only 1 dose of a 2-dose vaccine, like Pfizer or Moderna)


      Quarantine and get tested for COVID-19.



      If you’ve had your final dose of the vaccine and are exposed to someone who tests positive:

      (had 2 doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine)

      If it has NOT been 2 weeks since you were vaccinated


      Quarantine and get tested for COVID-19.

      If it has been at least 2 weeks since you were vaccinated


      You don’t need to quarantine. However, we know there is a small chance vaccinated people can get COVID-19 (called a breakthrough case) and pass the virus to other people, so to be very safe we suggest vaccinated people get a COVID-19 test 3 days after they were exposed. If you get symptoms of COVID-19, isolate and call your doctor or healthcare provider. You should get tested for COVID-19.

      You should isolate at home if you test positive for COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.

      You should isolate at home if you test positive or have symptoms of COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated. The vaccines do not interfere with the accuracy of COVID-19 tests. This means if you test positive after you’re vaccinated, you have COVID-19 and can spread the virus to others. These are called breakthrough cases. Breakthrough cases are rare but can happen.

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      Masks protect you and others from COVID-19.

      The science is clear, wearing face masks helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks also protect and help strengthen our economy.

      Viruses, like the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, are inside the aerosols and droplets we breathe and exhale. It’s those respiratory droplets that masks help to block and why face masks are so effective in helping to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

      The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC recommend everyone in a school wear a mask at this time, whether or not they are fully vaccinated. The CDC also recommends all people, even if they are vaccinated, wear a mask indoors if they live in an area with high transmission.

      Learn more

      Hygiene practices

      Good hygiene practices are some of the best ways to fight any illness. This includes COVID-19.

      • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
      • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds with soap and water. If you do not have soap and water, use hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.
      • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Do not use your hands.
      • Do not shake hands or touch other people. Use other ways to greet people without touching.
      • Try not to touch surfaces many people touch.
      • Use products in EPA List N to clean and disinfect surfaces every day that are touched often.
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      Travel recommendations

      Travel increases the chance you may get infected or spread COVID-19. Try to limit non-essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic as much as you can.

      Learn more

      Holiday safety tips

      The pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. We want everyone to have a great holiday season. The safest holiday gathering is with those who live in your home. If you are planning winter holiday activities or a gathering, we have some tips and recommendations to keep you and your family safe and to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

      Learn more