If You're Sick, Isolate
If you've been diagnosed with or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and suspect you have COVID-19, stay home and isolate yourself from others.
Isolate yourself at home if:
- you’ve received a positive lab test, or
- you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or
- you’ve been in close contact with someone who has or was believed to have had COVID-19 within 14 days AND you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptom, or
- a health care provider has said you are “presumptively positive”
How to self-isolate
Stay home entirely when you’re isolating because you are a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. Don’t visit public places or go out for a walk. Leave only to get medical care.
While you’re isolating:
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces every day, including counters, tables, doorknobs, light switches, toilets, phones, remotes, and keyboards.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Have food and necessities delivered and left at your doorstep.
- If you have pets, arrange for someone else to care for them and walk them if needed.
If you live with other people, separate yourself from the rest of your household as much as possible:
- Don’t share household items, including dishes, utensils, towels, and bedding. Wash everything thoroughly after you use it.
- Don’t prepare or serve food for others.
- If you can, stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom.
Although staying in your own room is ideal, this is not an option for many in our community. If you can’t separate entirely from the rest of your household, take these precautions:
- Stay as far from others as possible - at least six feet.
- Wear a face covering while inside.
- Others should wear a face covering when they are in the room with you, wash hand often, avoid touching their face.
- Open windows or use a fan to keep air flowing.
- Clean the bathroom immediately after you use it, before others enter. Follow CDC instructions for cleaning and disinfecting.
WHEN TO END ISOLATION
People who have been diagnosed with or who are likely to have COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should isolate themselves until for at least 5 days after start of symptoms. If you don’t have any symptoms, you should isolate for 5 days after the date of your first positive test.
Isolation can end after day 5 if:
- You have no symptoms, or they are mild and improving and
- You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medicine)
If fever is present, isolation should be continued until 24 hours after fever resolves.
If symptoms, other than fever, are not improving, continue to isolate until symptoms are improving or until after day 10.
You should wear a well-fitting mask around others for the full 10 days.
Find more information in detailed isolation and quarantine information:
- CDPH Guidance for Isolation and Quarantine of the General Public
- COVID-19 Symptoms flyer (City of Berkeley)
Last updated March 13, 2023