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Quarantine vs. Isolation

If you have been in contact with someone who is POSITIVE for COVID-19, you must QUARANTINE.


Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

This means, you must stay home for 10 days, to avoid spreading the virus. You can have the virus and spread it to others without knowing it. Quarantining stops the spread.


In the event that you develop symptoms within those 10 days you will need to get tested.

If you are POSITIVE with COVID-19 you must ISOLATE yourself from others.

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

This means, you will need to stay in a separate room and use separate bathroom facilities from those that live with you. 

Shortened Quarantine Guidance updated 3/23/21

Quarantine is for people who don’t currently have symptoms but were exposed to the disease. KDHE continues to recommend a 14-day quarantine following exposure to COVID-19, as the incubation period for this disease is 14 days. CDC has released modified guidance allowing for shorter quarantine periods to increase better compliance with quarantine and increase people getting tested. Local Health Departments may choose to opt into this guidance. For information in your county, please contact your local health department.

How the Shortened Time Period Works (Please check in with your local health department for specific information in your community).

7 Day Quarantine (Includes Testing and No Symptoms)

  • After exposure, you monitor yourself for symptoms daily or participate in monitoring by Public Health for 7 full days.

  • If you have no symptoms during this time frame, on or after Day 6, you may get a PCR test (antigen and antibody tests are NOT allowed for this purpose).

  • If the test is negative, and you remain symptom-free, you can be removed from quarantine on or after Day 8.

  • If Testing Results are pending, you must wait until you receive results.


10 Day Quarantine (No Testing and No Symptoms)

  • After exposure, you monitor yourself for symptoms daily or participate in Public Health monitoring for 10 full days.

  • If you have no symptoms during the 10 days, you can be released from the quarantine without a test on Day 11.


KDHE recommends all exposed people should self-monitor for fourteen (14) days from exposure and contact healthcare provider if symptoms develop. Disease can still develop through day 14.

Who is Not Eligible for Shortened Quarantine:

  • Residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities

  • Offender populations in Department of Corrections prisons


When is it preferable NOT to allow Shortened Quarantine:

KDHE recommends that close contacts of cases infected with variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that are known to be more infectious observe the full 14-day quarantine.

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