Healthy Communities

COVID-19 Guidance for Self Home Quarantine


Quarantine is an important way to stop the spread of COVID-19. It means staying home and away from others after you have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

If you are a close contact to a person with COVID-19, you need to quarantine for 14 days from the time of the exposure. Close contact, generally, means you were within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes total while they were infectious. COVID-19 patients are considered infectious two days before their symptoms started, or two days before their positive test if they do not develop symptoms. All close contacts should get tested for COVID-19 by PCR test about five (5) days after the last exposure to the positive person.

If you are a close contact, you need to quarantine even if you don’t feel sick and even if you have received a negative test for COVID-19.


The incubation period of the virus that causes COVID-19 is up to 14 days. Therefore, the quarantine period needs to last 14 days from the most recent exposure to the positive patient. If you are exposed again during quarantine, the 14-day period must start over again.

If you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 during the quarantine period, you must follow the instructions for isolating yourself.


Additional Help:

For immediate sheltering needs for people who are homeless or displaced or cannot safely quarantine at home, please call (501) 661-2136. For all other issues, contact the ADH call center at (800) 803-7847.


SCENARIO 1: No additional exposures

I was exposed on August 1, entered into quarantine immediately and was not exposed again.

August 1 + 14 days = August 15 is last day of quarantine.

August 16 = return to work/school.


SCENARIO 2: Infected person in household

The positive patient started home isolation on August 1 and I can avoid close contact with them even though we live in the same residence. As long as close contact is avoided:

August 1 + 14 days = August 15 is last day of quarantine.

August 16 = return to work/school


SCENARIO 3: Infected person in household with second exposure

The positive patient started home isolation on August 1, but I had contact with them again on August 5. Because of the second exposure, the quarantine period restarts then.

August 5 + 14 days = August 19 is last day of quarantine.

August 20 = return to work/school.


SCENARIO 4: Infected person in household with repeated exposure

I cannot avoid continued contact with a positive patient whose isolation period ends on August 9. The quarantine period extends 14 days beyond when the positive patient has been cleared to end isolation.

August 9 + 14 days = August 23 is last day of quarantine.

August 24 = return to work/school.





Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
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4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867