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COVID-19: Instructions for Close Contacts
in High-Risk Settings, Workplaces, & Schools

SUMMARY

If you are exposed to COVID-19, you may need to follow different rules regarding your return to the workplace or school. If you work or live in a high-risk setting, there are extra requirements for certain people. Also, a different definition of a close contact exposure may be used at different settings.

When you are not at your workplace, high risk setting, or school, you are required to follow the instructions for close contacts in the general public.

Note: In any setting, if there is an outbreak, there may be different testing and exclusion requirements. Public Health will provide instructions.

ON THIS PAGE

High-Risk Settings

A high-risk setting is a place where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is high and/or people are at increased risk of getting very sick or dying from COVID-19.

High-risk settings are the following:

  • Healthcare settings
  • Long-term care centers
  • Adult and senior care facilities
  • Local correctional facilities and detention centers
  • Emergency shelters and cooling and heating centers
  • Homeless shelters

If you work in a healthcare setting and are exposed to COVID-19, you may be required to be excluded from work depending on your exposure, vaccination status, and staffing levels at your facility. See the appropriate guidance:

If you work in non-healthcare high-risk setting and you are exposed to COVID-19,

  • You must be excluded from work if you have not received all of the recommended doses in a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines plus a booster (if eligible) and you have not had COVID-19 within the last 90 days. You must stay away from work for at least 5 days after your last exposure. Your employer may require you to stay away from work longer. See Cal/OSHA's FAQs CDPH Isolation and Quarantine Table 3 - Close Contacts - Specified High-Risk Settings.
  • Your employer may allow you to continue to work if you have received all of the recommended doses in a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines plus a booster (if eligible) or if you had COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days, as long as you have no symptoms. You will be required to follow all return-to-work requirements for your setting.

If you are a resident of a high-risk setting and you are exposed to COVID-19,

  • You must quarantine within the facility if you have not received all of the recommended doses in a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines plus a booster (if eligible) and you have not had COVID-19 within the last 90 days. You must follow the specific quarantine requirements for your setting.
  • If you have received all of the recommended doses in a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines plus a booster (if eligible) or if you had COVID-19 within the last 90 days, you may not be required to quarantine if you follow other requirements of your setting.

See high risk setting specific guidance:

Workplaces (Except for high-risk settings)

If you are exposed to COVID-19 at your workplace, you may continue to work as long as you remain asymptomatic and you follow all requirements.

See Table 2 in Employees with COVID-19 or Exposed to COVID-19: Return to Work (Except High-Risk Settings).

Schools

If you are a student and you were exposed to COVID-19, you may be allowed to continue to attend school as long as you remain asymptomatic and follow all requirements of close contacts.

See COVID-19 Resources for Parents and Guardians for more information.

 




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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.

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