COVID-19: Stay Safe DuPage – Quarantine and Isolation

We must all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. This includes knowing when we should stay away from others to avoid unknowingly passing the virus on to our friends, families and neighbors. Below are two terms that you should understand. Most importantly, if you have close contact with someone who is infected with the virus or if you become infected—you need stay home!



Anyone who has had close contact* with a person who has COVID-19 needs to quarantine and stay home except for medical care. During this time, check your temperature twice a day and watch for symptoms of COVID-19.

*Close contacts are individuals who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more with a person with COVID-19 or have had direct contact with fluids from a person with COVID-19 (for example, being coughed or sneezed on, sharing eating or drinking utensils), or have had direct physical contact with a person with COVID-19 (hugged or kissed them), or have provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.

When does quarantine end?

It is safe to end quarantine when at least 14 days have passed since your last contact with a person with COVID-19 and you remain healthy, with no symptoms. In case symptoms develop, contact your healthcare provider.  If a close contact tests positive, then they are considered a COVID-19 case and need to isolate accordingly.

Close contacts who test negative for COVID-19 during their quarantine period must still complete their quarantine period with symptom monitoring through 14 days from their last exposure to a COVID-19 case.  In other words, a close contact cannot “test out of” their full 14-day quarantine period after exposure.



Anyone with suspected or known COVID-19 infection needs to isolate and stay home (except for medical care) for at least 10 days from their symptom onset date (or first positive lab test date for persons without symptoms). 

When does home isolation end?

If you test positive for COVID-19 or test negative but have symptoms of COVID-19-like-illness, stay home and limit contact with others until:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared (or first positive lab test date if without symptoms) AND 

  • You have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without using medicine that reduces fever AND

  • Your symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved

If you live with others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area and away from other people or animals, including pets. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

For anyone who has COVID-19 and their close contacts, information and resources are available in
English and Spanish on our COVID-19: Information and Resources page. 

If you get a call from IL COVID HELP or 312-777-1999, Answer the Call to help slow the spread of COVID-19.