Test Recommendations

The best way to contain disease, is to know your COVID status. Get tested if:
- You have symptoms of COVID-19
- You have been exposed to COVID-19
- A provider has suggested you be tested
- You need to know your COVID-19 status


Isolation describes when someone has been exposed and has symptoms of COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19, stays home and away from others (including household members) to avoid spreading their illness.

Quarantine describes when someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 stays home for the recommended amount of time in case they have been infected or is contagious. Quarantine becomes isolation if the person develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. The timeline away from other would then start over according to isolation guidelines.

Close Contact is a person who has been within 6 feet of an individual within 2 days of them testing positive for COVID-19, or 2 days from symptom onset, for 15 minutes or more in any 24 hour period. If your phone has the WA Notify application installed and in use, you may get notified anonymously that you have been a close contact with someone based on how your phone has been distanced from a positive person's phone.

Isolation Details

If you test positive for COVID-19, self-isolate for 10 days, even if you don’t have symptoms. This means:

  • informing your employer,
  • staying away from everyone, including the people you live with and family members,
  • not sharing utensils or bathrooms with others,
  • only leaving home to seek medical treatment and while wearing a mask, and
  • you will receive a call from a contact tracer to identify close contacts and identify your needs to isolate safely.

If you have/develop a fever, self-isolate for at least 10 days plus 24 hours without fever (and without the use of fever-reducing medication) and symptoms improve.

If you have no symptoms at the end of your self-isolation period, you can resume normal activities. If you still feel sick, call your doctor for next steps.

Seek medical care immediately or call 911 if someone has emergency warning signs of severe COVID-19:

  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest 
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

This list is not all possible symptoms.  Please call your healthcare provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. 

Quarantine Details

If you are identified as a close contact (within 6 feet of someone, regardless of face coverings, for a cumulative 15 minutes or more within 24 hours - 48 hours from the other individuals symptom onset or positive test date), you should quarantine to prevent infecting others in case you are carrying the virus and contagious. This includes asymptomatic household members who live with someone who is in isolation and the quarantine start date begins the last time they were within 6 feet of that household member or, if close contact cannot be avoided, until the individual has passed their isolation period.

CDC, DOH and BFHD currently recommend a quarantine period of 14 days after the last date of contact with a sick individual. There are certain exemptions of quarantine for essential workers who are identified as close contacts. Employees should consult their employer.

  1. Stay in quarantine for 14 days after your last contact. This is the safest option. Monitor your symptoms during this time, and if you have any COVID-19 symptoms during the 14 days, get tested. Certain high-risk settings or groups should use the 14-day quarantine option:
    • People who work or stay in an acute or long-term healthcare setting,
    • People who work or stay in a correctional facility,
    • People who work or stay in a shelter or transitional housing
    • People who live in communal housing such as dormitories, fraternities or sororities
    • People who work in crowded work situations where physical, distancing is impossible due to the nature of the work such as in a warehouse or factory, and
    • People who work on fishing or seafood processing vessels.


  2. If this is not possible, stay in quarantine for 10 days after your last contact, without additional testing. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms during the 10 days, stay in quarantine the full 14 days and get tested. Keep watching for symptoms until day 14.


  3. Under special circumstances it may be possible to end quarantine after 7 full days beginning after your last contact and after receiving a negative result from a test (get tested no sooner than 48 hours before ending quarantine.) This will depend on availability of testing resources.  Keep watching for symptoms until day 14.

If you test positive at any time during your quarantine period, use the isolation guidelines above.

Specifics for Vaccinated Individuals

According to the CDC, vaccinated personal with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure