I have COVID. When can I go back to work?

Positive COVID Test + Symptoms

If you have COVID and have symptoms, you should stay away from others to keep from spreading COVID. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you can go back to work and safely be around others after you meet these three requirements:

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND
  • At least 24 hours with no fever (without taking aspirin or tylenol or ibuprofen) AND
  • Your other COVID symptoms are improving. The only exception to this last point is related to the loss of taste and smell, because these symptoms might last for weeks or months. So continued loss of taste and smell is not a reason to stay in isolation.

If you are very sick COVID-19 (you were admitted to a hospital and needed oxygen), your doctor may recommend that you stay in isolation for longer than 10 days after your symptoms first started.

Positive COVID Tests + No Symptoms

If you receive a positive COVID test, but never develop any symptoms, you can go back to work and safely be around others when 10 days have passed since you had your positive test.


Last update: November 10, 2020, 4:42 pm ET

Science review: JAB