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Updated Guidance: Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their isolation guidance on August 11, 2022, for persons with COVID-19.1 Individuals with COVID-19 can spread the virus to others but there are precautions that COVID-positive individuals can take to prevent spreading it to others: isolation, masking and avoiding contact with people who are at high risk of getting very sick. Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19.

These recommendations do not change based on COVID-19 Community Levels. See the additional information linked here about treatments that may be available to COVID-positive individuals.

When to Isolate

Regardless of vaccination status, persons with COVID-19 should isolate from others. If an individual is sick and suspects that they have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results, they should isolate themselves from others. If the test results are positive, follow the full isolation recommendations below. If the test results are negative, the individual can end their isolation.

For individuals with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, isolation is counted in days, as follows:

If a COVID-positive individual has no symptoms
·       Day 0 is the day they were tested (not the day the person received their positive test result).
·       Day 1 is the first full day following the day the individual was tested.
·       If symptoms develop within 10 days of when the person was tested, the clock restarts at day 0 on the day of symptom onset.
If a COVID-positive individual has symptoms
·       Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when the person tested positive.
·       Day 1 is the first full day after the day symptoms started.


If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they should stay home for at least 5 days, and isolate themselves from others in their home. COVID-positive individuals are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.

  • Wear a high-quality mask if it is necessary to be around others at home and in public.
  • Do not go places where the individual is unable to wear a mask.
  • Do not travel.
  • Stay home and separate from others as much as possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels and utensils.
  • Monitor symptoms. If a COVID-positive individual has an emergency warning sign (such as trouble breathing), urge the individual to seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Learn more about what to do if you have COVID-19.

When to End Isolation

End isolation based on how serious COVID-19 symptoms were.

If a COVID-positive individual has no symptoms
·       Isolation can be ended after day 5.
If a COVID-positive individual has symptoms
Isolation can be ended after day 5 if:
·       They are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication; and
·       Symptoms are improving.
If the sick individual still has a fever or other symptoms have not improved, they should continue to isolate until they improve.
If they had a moderate illness (experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing), or severe illness (were hospitalized) due to COVID-19, or they have a weakened immune system, the sick individual should isolate through day 10.

If they had a severe illness or have a weakened immune system, they should be advised to consult their doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option.
If the sick individual is unsure if their symptoms were moderate or severe, or if they have a weakened immune system, they should be urged to talk to a health care provider for further guidance.

Regardless of when isolation has ended, COVID-positive individuals should avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11. They should be reminded to wear a high-quality mask when indoors, when around others at home and in public and to not go places where they are unable to wear a mask or until they are able to discontinue masking (see below), this includes public transportation and travel settings.

Those that are more likely than others to get very sick if they get COVID-19 include people who are 50 years and older, are immunocompromised, have certain disabilities, or have underlying health conditions. More information regarding risk factors for severe illness can be found here:


After the individual has completed 5 days of isolation (on day 6) and they are feeling better (no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms improving) they can be advised to do the following:

  • Wear a mask through day 10; or
  • If they have access to antigen tests, they should consider using them. With two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart, masks can be removed sooner than day 10.

*Note: If antigen test results are positive, an individual may still be infectious. They should be advised to continue wearing a mask and wait at least 48 hours before taking another test. The individual should continue taking antigen tests at least 48 hours apart until they have two sequential negative test results. This may mean wearing a mask needs to continue and testing needs to be done beyond day 10.

After isolation has ended and COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, that individual must restart their isolation at day 0. They should be advised to talk to a health care provider if they have questions about their symptoms or when to end isolation.

COVID-19 Reporting

COVID-19 laboratory results must be reported as outlined in the Updates to COVID-19 Laboratory Reporting Requirements technical bulletin (dated March 25, 2022). Contact the appropriate health authority to report.

Health DepartmentCountyPhone Number to Report
Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD)Clark(702) 759-1300 (24 hours)
Washoe County Health District (WCHD)Washoe(775) 328-2447 (24 hours)
Carson City Health and Human Services (CCHHS)Carson City, Douglas, Storey and Lyon counties(775) 887-2190 (24 hours)
Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH)All other counties(775) 684-5911 (M-F 8 am to 5 pm)
(775) 400-0333 (after hours)


For updated guidance, review the DPBH Technical Bulletin web page or the Nevada Health Response website. Email for other questions regarding COVID-19.