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 in close contact with a person with COVID19, 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 and you are not fully vaccinated, you need to quarantine for 14 days even if you don’t feel sick and even if you have received a negative test for COVID-19.

If you are a close contact and you are fully vaccinated, you do not have to quarantine if you do not have symptoms. If you develop symptoms, you should isolate and get tested for COVID-19.

If you develop



The incubation period of the virus that causes COVID-19 is up to 14 days. Therefore, the safest quarantine period would last 14 days from the most recent exposure to the positive patient.

In accordance with new CDC guidelines, quarantine can end after 10 days without testing if no symptoms have occurred. Or, it can end after 7 days if no symptoms have occurred and a test returned a negative result. Note that the test sample must have been collected at least 5 days after exposure. Send-off PCR tests are preferred, but rapid PCR or antigen tests are acceptable.

If you are exposed again during quarantine, the 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.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. If I am fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine and have close contact with a positive case, do I need to quarantine?

Vaccinated persons with exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

A fully vaccinated person who does not quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should get tested immediately and stay home away from others. Even if they don’t develop symptoms, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people who’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should get tested 5-7 days after their exposure. They should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Also, vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing.

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.







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