I tested positive for COVID-19 – what do I do?  - Isolation & Quarantine Guidance Flyer 

 IMMEDIATELY Isolate yourself at home away from others. If you are not at home, go there immediately, avoiding mass/public transit if at all possible.

 THEN Inform anyone who may have been a close contact to you during your infectious period (see below for information on your infectious period). Let them know your health status. These persons might include adult household members, or people from work, school, worship, family or social gatherings, or sports.

 IF your health provider or public health department call, please speak with them. You should receive a text from the Illinois Department of Public Health asking you to call 312-777-1999 or to click on this link: https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/confirmed-or-possible-covid-19.html. Please call the number and/or click on the link for additional guidance.

IF you are having trouble breathing, contact your health provider, or call 911 for severe breathing difficulty, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone.

IF you are COVID positive Jackson County resident and need a release for school, work or healthcare services please call 618-684-3143 ext 147. Please note we cannot provide an isolation release for positives only identified thru home tests.

What does “isolation” mean?

  • Isolation is used to separate people infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, use a separate bathroom (if available), and avoid sharing household items, like towels or utensils. Wear a mask for any brief encounters with others. Ventilate your area by slightly opening a window, if possible. Manage any symptoms with over-the-counter medications as needed.
  • To calculate your 5 full day isolation period, Day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms developed. Day 6 is when you can leave home, while still wearing a tight-fitting mask through Day 10.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms, Day 0 is the day of your positive test (based on the date you were tested) and day 1 is the first full day after your test. If you develop symptoms after testing positive, your 5-day isolation period must start over. Day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms developed.

Who is considered a “close contact”?

  • “Close contacts” are people you were within 6 ft of for a total of 15 minutes or more during any 24-hour period while you may have been infectious. You are considered potentially infectious 48 hours prior to your onset of symptoms, or if you tested without having symptoms, 48 hours prior to your positive test. You are considered potentially infectious through the remainder of your isolation time. 

Notifying close contacts

  • To help protect your family, friends, co-workers, and the community, we ask that you please quickly notify those you consider “close contacts” and let them know of your positive test result. Public health officials may also reach out to them, but you alone can take swift action to keep them healthy. Start by calling or texting those you were around the longest, those you were around unmasked, and those you know have significant health conditions. You may not be able to identify all of your close contacts, or have a way to reach them all.
  • Contact your employer or school and they can help inform your contacts at those locations. If you need help recalling who you have been around, look at your text messages, calendar, bank transactions, photos, and social media posts.
  • Let your close contacts know the information below in the “I’m a close contact – what do I do?” section below and point them to the Jackson County Health Department website so they can view this information directly. They can also reach JCHD at 618-684-3143, ext. 147.

I’m a close contact – what do I do?

  • If you become aware that you are a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you may need to quarantine. “Quarantine” is the act of staying at home and avoiding contact with others following possible exposure to COVID-19.
  •  If you received a COVID-19 booster OR you were fully vaccinated within the past 6 months or less with Pfizer or Moderna, or 2 months or less with Johnson & Johnson – then you do not need to quarantine. Wear a tight-fitting mask around others for 10 days. Test on Day 5, if possible. If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated OR you were fully vaccinated more than 6 months ago with Pfizer or Moderna, or more than 2 months ago with Johnson & Johnson – then you should quarantine at home for 5 days. Test on Day 5 if possible. You may leave home starting on Day 6, but continue to wear a tight-fitting mask around others through Day 10. If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.