Close Contact Information
I Was Exposed to Someone with COVID-19
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says "close contact" is if any of the following situations happened while you spent time with a person with COVID-19 during their isolation period and/or during the two days prior*, even if they didn't have symptoms:
- You were within 6 feet of a person who had COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
- You had direct exposure to respiratory secretions (for example, being coughed or sneezed on, sharing a drinking glass, utensils, towels, or other personal items).
- You had direct physical contact with the person (for example, a hug, kiss, or handshake).
- You cared or care for a person who has COVID-19.
- You lived or live with a person who has COVID-19.
- You stayed overnight with a person who has COVID-19 (for at least one night in the same household).
A person with COVID-19 is infectious two days before they have symptoms (or two days before their positive test was collected if they did not have symptoms) through the end of their isolation period.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include but are not limited to:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore Throat
- Muscle aches
- Net loss of taste or smell
- Runny nose or congestion
What to Do if You Were Exposed
- Wear a high-quality mask for 10 days.
- Wear a mask any time you are around others inside your home or indoors in public.
- Day 0 of masking is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19.
- Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask.
- Get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19, even if you don't have any symptoms. Visit the Division of Public Health Website for more information.
- If you test negative, continue wearing a mask through day 10. You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after being exposed.
- If you test positive, isolate immediately. Visit the CDC Website for more information.
- Watch for symptoms through 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19. If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately and get tested. Continue to stay home until you know the results. Visit the CDC Website for more information.
- Avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
Someone in My Home Is Sick From COVID-19
- See the CDC guidance, Caring for Someone Sick at Home.
- The sick person should be in their own room and should have their own bathroom, if possible. They should have the door closed, and food and other needs should be left outside their door for them to pick up.
- The CDC has additional guidance for how to clean and disinfect your home if someone is sick, including how to clean surfaces, linens, dishes, and trash.
- Following the above guidance, I was exposed to someone with COVID-19. If the person with COVID is unable to fully separate from you while in the home, you should mask around others through their isolation period and for 10 days after they leave isolation.
Consider getting vaccinated against COVID-19. One of the most effective ways to protect yourself against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, free, and now widely available.
If you have questions about any of this information, please contact the Portage County Division of Public Health at 715-345-5350 option 8 and ask to speak with a public health nurse or Email Public Health.
Additional information about COVID-19 can be found at the following:
- Portage County Division of Public Health Website
- CDC guidelines for Home isolation
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
If you need food, shelter other things to maintain your quarantine, please call 211.
Thank you for helping protect our community.