A-Z Index


Home Quarantine Instructions for Close Contacts to COVID-19


In Los Angeles County, if you have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 you are required* to:

  1. Quarantine - stay home and separate yourself from others for 10 days
  2. Monitor your health for 14 days
  3. Follow the Health Officer Quarantine Order along with the steps below

It is recommended that you get tested* for COVID-19.

*You do not need to quarantine or get tested if you have no symptoms AND you either:

  • Are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This means 2 weeks have passed since your second dose in a 2-dose vaccine series or 2 weeks have passed since a single-dose vaccine. See People who have been fully vaccinated for more details.

  • OR

  • Have recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in the past 3 months (90 days). This means you had a positive COVID-19 viral test (swab or saliva) test and you completed isolation. See When does my home isolation end for more details.

Even if you do not need to quarantine, it is important that you monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from your last contact with the infected person.

Recent travel: if you entered LA County from outside of California, you need to self-quarantine unless you are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19. See the latest Travel Advisory and Guidance for further instructions.


Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

You need to quarantine if you are a close contact to someone who has COVID-19.

What is a Close Contact?

You are “close contact” if:

  1. You were within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
  2. You had unprotected contact with body fluids and/or secretions from someone with COVID-19. For example, you were coughed or sneezed on, you shared a drinking cup or eating utensils, you kissed, or you provided care to them without wearing the right protective equipment.

*A person with COVID-19 can infect others from 2 days before their symptoms first started until they are allowed to end their home isolation (as described in Home Isolation Instructions for People with COVID-19). A person with a positive COVID-19 test who does not have symptoms is considered to be infectious from 2 days before their test was taken until 10 days after their test.

How long do I have to quarantine?
  • If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19*, you must quarantine for 10 full days from your last contact with the infected person*. You can end your quarantine after Day 10 if you never had any symptoms and you take the following precautions:
    • From Day 11 through Day 14:
      • Be extra careful. Wear a mask when around other people (including those in your household), stay at least 6 feet away from others, wash your hands often, and take other steps to protect others (and yourself).
      • Keep checking for COVID-19 symptoms every day. If you do get symptoms, isolate at home and follow the "If you develop symptoms" instructions below.

It is best to keep away from people at high risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 for the full 14 days.

*If you don’t know when you were exposed to the infected person and you received a Public Health Emergency Quarantine Order, you can end your quarantine 10 days after the date the order was issued (as long as you don’t have symptoms).

If you have a test for COVID-19, and it is negative, you must still quarantine for at least 10 days.

If you are experiencing homelessness or you are unable to safely isolate or quarantine at home, call the COVID Info line 833-540-0473, open daily 8:00am–8:30pm.

How to calculate when your quarantine period ends
  • If you have no more contact with the infectious person
  • Your last day of quarantine is 10 days from the date after you last had close contact. For example:

  • If you continue to have contact with the infected person
  • For example, you live with and/or care for the person with COVID-19:

    • If you can avoid close contact, your last day of quarantine is after 10 days from when the person with COVID-19 started to follow the Home Isolation Instructions.
    • But, if you have close contact with them again while they are still in isolation, your 10-day quarantine period will have to restart from the last day that you had close contact.
    • If you cannot avoid close contact, your last day of quarantine is 10 days from the date that the person with COVID-19 was told their isolation ends.
Restrictions during quarantine

To prevent you from spreading COVID-19, you must restrict activities and limit actions that may put you in contact with others.

  • Stay home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. You may only leave your place of quarantine to get needed medical care.
  • Do not allow non-essential visitors.
  • Separate yourself from others in your home (unless they are also in quarantine). If you need to be in the same room as other household members:
    • Wear a mask. If possible, choose a mask that has multiple layers and a snug fit and consider double masking. See Masks for more information including who should not wear a mask.
    • Keep 6 feet away. If you have to share a room, try setting up the room so that you can stay 6 feet apart, if possible. It is important to stay away from unvaccinated people who are at higher risk of serious illness.
    • Open windows or use a fan or an air conditioner in shared spaces in the home.
    • Use a separate bathroom. If this is not possible, disinfect the bathroom after use.
  • Do not make or serve food to others, if possible. If there is no one else to prepare and serve food, then be sure to wear a mask and wash your hands frequently.
Getting help with food and other necessities
  • If you do not have someone to help you, you can arrange for food and other supplies to be left at your door. If you need help finding food or other supplies, call 2-1-1, or visit 211la.org, or the Public Health resource webpage.
Work and School
  • Disability Insurance, Unemployment & Paid Family Leave may be available for people who cannot work because they, or a family member, need to isolate or quarantine. Visit the California Employment Development Department website for information.
  • When your quarantine period is over, you may return to work or school. You do not need a letter from Public Health and should not need a negative test.
Steps to take when getting medical care or COVID-19 testing
  • Wear a mask. If possible, choose a mask has multiple layers and a snug fit and consider double masking.
  • Use a private car if possible. If you cannot drive yourself, be sure to keep as much distance as possible between you and the driver and leave the windows down. You should not use public transportation.


As a close contact to someone with COVID-19, it is recommended that you get tested.* This is to check if you are already infected. If you test negative, you still need to quarantine for 10 days.
*Testing is not recommended for people who had a positive viral COVID-19 test in the past 90 days and do not currently have symptoms of COVID-19.


  • It is important to monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from your last contact with the infected person. Symptoms of COVID-19 may include any of the following: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling tired, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, or new loss of taste or smell.
  • Call 911 or go to an emergency room if you are having serious symptoms. Serious symptoms include difficulty breathing, pain or pressure in your chest, have bluish lips or face or being confused or having difficulty waking up.
If you develop symptoms
  • Isolate yourself at home (this means if you left quarantine and it is Day 11-14 you need to return home immediately and strictly stay away from others except for medical care).
  • Contact your healthcare provider, clinician advice line, or telemedicine provider for a medical assessment and arrange a test for COVID-19. Tell them that you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. Call the Los Angeles County Information line at 2-1-1 if you do not have a doctor. This number is available 24/7.
    • If you test positive for COVID-19 or your provider thinks you have COVID-19, you must follow the Los Angeles County “ Public Health Emergency Isolation Order” for COVID-19 and the “Home Isolation Instructions for People with COVID-19 Infection,” which are available in English, Spanish, and other languages.
    • If you test negative for COVID-19 and/or your provider thinks that you do not have COVID-19, you must complete your quarantine period and stay home until at least 24 hours have passed since you have been fever-free without using fever reducing medications.
    • If you don’t get tested you should isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms first started and at least 24 hours have passed since You have been fever-free without using fever reducing medications.
Dealing with Stress

COVID-19 and quarantine may be stressful for people. Visit the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s COVID-19 webpage and the 211LA webpage (211la.org/resources/subcategory/mental-health) for local resources to help with mental health & wellbeing concerns. Guidance and resources, including information on crisis hotlines, are also available on the CDC webpage Coping with stress.

LA County residents have free access to Headspace Plus. This is a collection of mindfulness and meditation resources in English and Spanish. It also has movement and sleep exercises to help manage stress, fear, and anxiety related to COVID-19.

If you need to speak with someone about your mental health, contact your doctor or the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Access Center 24/7 Helpline at (800) 854-7771. This number is available 24/7. You can also text “LA” to 74174.


Contact tracing is a simple, confidential process that is being used to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • You may receive a call from a public health specialist if you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. If you get a call or message from "LA PublicHealth" or 1-833-641-0305, please do your part by taking the call. You will be asked about your health and the places you have been.
  • The specialist can answer your questions and provide information like how to get a COVID-19 test or how to find a doctor or get help while you are in quarantine.
  • Click here for more information about contact tracing.


If you are a close contact to someone with COVID-19, you are not required to quarantine if:

  1. You are fully vaccinated (this means it’s been 2 weeks or more since you got the single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, 2 weeks or more since getting the second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or 2 weeks have passed since you finished the series of a vaccine that has been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization, for example AstraZeneca/Oxford) and
  2. You have had no symptoms of COVID-19 since your close contact.

Even if you do not need to quarantine, it is important that you:


  • For more information, visit the Public Health website ph.lacounty.gov/Coronavirus or call 2-1-1 (which is available 24/7).
  • Please call your doctor for any questions about your health. If you need help finding a doctor, call 2-1-1.

Updated 5-3-21

Adobe Reader

Note: PDF documents on this site were created using Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or later. Document functionality may be reduced if you are using an earlier version (4.x or less). Get the latest version of Adobe Acrobat.

  • Home  |
  • Careers  |
  • DPH Programs  |
  • Email: Webmaster  |
  • Notice of Privacy Practices | 
  • Website Privacy Policy  |
  • Accessibility  |
  • Disclaimer  |
  • Employee

  • Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

    Los Angeles County Seal: Enriching lives through effective and caring services