Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines
Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines for the General Public
If you test positive for COVID-19 (isolate)
|Anyone who lives or goes to school in MA
*Note: If you have or develop symptoms, continue to stay home, until you have not had a fever for 24-hours without the use of fever reducing medicine and your other symptoms are improving. If you were severely ill (were hospitalized) or have a weakened immune system, you should consult your healthcare provider before leaving isolation.
Days to Isolate
- Day 0, first day of symptoms OR day the positive test was taken, whichever is earlier
- Days 1-4, continue to isolate
- Day 5, last day of isolation if asymptomatic or symptoms are improving
- Day 6, leave isolation (if you are able to wear a mask at all times when around other people, including in your household, through day 10). You may remove your mask prior to day 10, if you have had two negative tests taken 48 hours apart.
After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, restart your isolation at day 0.
While everyone must isolate if they have COVID, individuals may be able to return to childcare, school, or a healthcare setting sooner under certain conditions. See guidance on return to work, school and childcare, at mass.gov.
If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 (exposure precautions)
If you have been exposed to someone with COVID, you do not need to quarantine as long as you remain asymptomatic, regardless of your vaccination status. You must wear a mask any time you are around others inside your home or indoors in public for the 10 days following your exposure, unless you are unable to mask*.
If you were exposed and develop symptoms at any time, isolate and take a test and stay home until you know the result. If the result is positive, follow isolation protocols. If your test is negative or if you have remained asymptomatic, take a test on day 6.
- If you have not had COVID-19 in the last 90 days, you can test with either a rapid antigen or PCR test.
- People who had COVID-19 in the last 90 days should test with a rapid antigen test, not a PCR test.
- People who had COVID-19 in the last 30 days are not recommended to test on day 6 but should use a rapid antigen test if they develop any symptoms.
If you test positive, follow isolation guidance. For more information, please see CDC COVID-19 Exposure Guidance.
* You are unable to consistently wear a mask due to young age or medical or behavioral condition.
Additional Isolation and Quarantine Guidance
- COVID-19 Mitigation Protocols and Guidelines for Child Care
- DESE GUIDANCE SIMPLIFIED
- EEC GUIDELINES FLOWCHART