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Instructions for Home Isolation​

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Home Isolation

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive and/or develop symptoms of COVID-19, you need to self-isolate to avoid spreading the infection to others. This includes:

  • Stay home until you have met the criteria to be cleared from isolation (see below).
  • At home, stay in a specific room or area away from other people and pets. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Wear a face covering if you must have contact with others in the home.
  • Monitor your symptoms and seek medical care if your symptoms get worse.
    • Call ahead and let them know that you have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Notify anyone you have been in close contact with beginning two days before you got sick and encourage them to get tested.


If I tested positive for COVID-19, when can I stop home isolation?

If you tested positive, you need to remain home until ALL of the below are true:

  • It has been at least 10 days from the start of your symptoms (or the date of test if you don't have symptoms)
  • AND - It has been 24 hours since your fever is completely gone (without using medicine)
  • AND -Your symptoms are better.

Some people, such as those with conditions that weaken their immune system, might continue to shed virus after they recover. If you have a weakened immune system, talk with your medical provider or Mecklenburg County Public Health for additional instructions.

If you live or work in a high-risk setting (e.g. healthcare worker, long-term care facility, congregate living setting, first responder, etc.), additional criteria, such as more time, symptoms resolution, and/or the test-based strategy, may be recommended prior to returning.




Do I need a negative COVID-19 test to return to work?

Public Health currently does NOT recommend a negative test prior to returning to work for individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Most employees can stop home isolation and return to work once they have met the CDC symptoms-based criteria or time-based criteria to be removed from home isolation and are feeling well enough to return:

If the employee had symptoms:
  • At least 10 days from the start of symptoms
  • AND - 24 hours with no fever (without using medicine).
  • AND - Symptoms have improved.
If the employee had NO symptoms:
  • At least 10 days since date of test.
  • AND - No symptoms develop.


View or download afact sheet on returning to work.


Do I still need to protect myself and others after I end home isolation?

If you test positive and/or develop symptoms of COVID-19, you need to self-isolate to avoid spreading the infection to others. This includes:

  • After you finish home isolation, you need to continue to protect yourself and others!
  • We do not know yet if people who recover from COVID-19 can get infected again.
  • If you develop new or worsening symptoms, immediately isolate yourself again and contact your medical provider.

Three Ws: wash hands, wear mask, wait 6 feet part.


Contact us

Questions about a positive test or ending home isolation:
980-314-9400 Option 2

General COVID-19 questions, home isolation documentation:
980-314-9400 Option 8


close alertCounty services are operating at a limited capacity. Questions about COVID-19? Call Public Health Hotline: 980-314-9400