Should I quarantine if someone I live with was exposed to COVID-19?

With cases of COVID-19 increasing, you may find out that someone you live with, such as a spouse, roommate, or child, has been exposed.

Know the details

Exposure does not mean the person will develop COVID-19. But it’s important to know the details about their exposure. The risk of someone getting sick increases the more time they spend with the infected person, whether they were inside or outside, and whether they both wore masks. While it’s impossible to predict if an exposed person will become infected or not, a brief, masked, outdoor encounter is lower risk than a long conversation inside without masks.

Do I need to quarantine too?

Currently, the CDC does not say you need to quarantine if someone you live with was exposed. However, taking additional precautions is still a good idea. Monitor yourself for symptoms, Consider whether you can keep physical distance from the exposed person or wear a mask, and wash your hands frequently.

Be kind to others

Living with someone who was exposed means you are at higher risk of getting and spreading COVID. But you can take steps to limit your risk of spreading the virus to others. Wear a mask if you have to leave your house. Avoid contact with people at high risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, like your grandparents or friends with asthma, or who are immune-suppressed.

Last update: October 20, 2020, 9:29 pm ET

Science review: GSN, JAB