COVID 19 Vaccination button 2 COVID 19 Testing button 3 Test Positive or Exposed button 3

If You Test Positive for COVID-19

Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19You should also isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results.

If you test NEGATIVE (-):

You can end your isolation

If you test POSITIVE (+):

Follow the Isolation Recommendations below

When you have COVID-19, isolation is counted in days:

If you had NO SYMPTOMS:

  • Day 0 is the day you were tested (not the day you received your positive test result)
  • Day 1 is the first full day following the day you were tested
  • If you develop symptoms within 10 days of when you were tested, the clock restarts at day 0 on the day of symptom onset

If you had SYMPTOMS:

  • Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when you tested positive
  • Day 1 is the first full day after the day your symptoms started

Isolation Recommendations

If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.

  • Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home and in public.
  • Do not go places where you are 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 your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Learn more about what to do if you have COVID-19.

Ending Isolation

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

If you had NO SYMPTOMS

You may end isolation after day 5.

If you had SYMPTOMS

You may end isolation after day 5 if:

  • You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
  • Your symptoms are improving

If you still have fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve.

You need to isolate through day 10 if:

  • You hadmoderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing)
  • You had  severe illness(you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19
  • You have a weakened immune system

If you had severe illnessor have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation.

If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.

NOTE:  Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11. 

Loss of taste and smell may continue for weeks or months and do not need to delay the end of isolation.

Removing Your Mask

After you have ended isolation, when you are feeling better
(no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms impro

  • Wear your mask through day 10.


  • If you have access to antigen tests, you should consider using them. With two negative tests 48 hours apart, you may remove your mask sooner than day 10.

Note: If your antigen test results are positive, you may still be infectious. You should continue wearing a mask and wait at least 48 hours before taking another test. Continue taking antigen tests at least 48 hours apart until you have two negative results in a row. This may mean you need to continue wearing a mask and testing beyond day 10.

After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, restart your isolation at day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.

Click here for more information from WI DHS and CDC.

If You Have Been Exposed to COVID-19

If you were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, here are the steps that you should take, regardless of your vaccination status or if you have had a previous infection.

Click here or more information on understanding your exposure risk.

After Being Exposed to COVID-19

Wear a mask as soon as you find out you were exposed. Start counting from Day 1.

  • Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19
  • Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure
NOTE:  Masks are not recommended for children under ages 2 years and younger, or for people with some disabilities. Other prevention actions (such as improving ventilation) should be used to avoid transmission during these 10 days.

Continue precautions for 10 full days. You can still develop COVID-19 up tp 10 days after you have been exposed.

  1. Wear a high-quality mask or respirator (e.g., N95) any time you are around others inside your home or indoors in public. Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask.
  2. Take extra precautions if you will be around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
Watch for symptoms

If you develop symptoms

Get tested at least 5 full days after your last exposure. Test even if you don’t develop symptoms.

If you already had COVID-19 within the past 90 days, see specific testing recommendations.

If you test NEGATIVE (-):

Continue taking precautions through day 10

  • Wear a high-quality mask when around others at home and indoors in public

You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.

If you test POSITIVE (+):

Follow isolation recommendations

Click here for more information from WI DHS and CDC.

Feeling sick?

  • Cough (new onset or worsening of chronic cough)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever or chills
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell

NOTE: Not everyone with COVID-19 has these symptoms.


Stay home, separate yourself from others, and get tested, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.

If your test comes back positive, follow
isolation instructions. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 more than four weeks after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, you may be experiencing a post-COVID condition. Visit post-COVID conditions to learn more.
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