Guidance for Community-Related Exposure

Public health recommendations have been updated to accommodate new scientific evidence, evolving epidemiology, and the need to simplify risk assessment. New recommendations are based on:

  • Growing evidence of transmission risk from infected people without symptoms (asymptomatic) or before the onset of recognized symptoms (presymptomatic);
  • Increased community transmission in many parts of the country;
  • A need to communicate effectively to the general public;
  • Continued focus on reducing transmission through social distancing and other personal prevention strategies.

 Precautions for the Public 

Current guidance based on community exposure, for people exposed to people with known or suspected COVID-19 or possible COVID-19


Individual who has had close contact: 

Exposure to Recommended Precautions for the Public
  • Person with COVID-19 who has symptoms (in the period from 2 days before symptom onset until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation; can be laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness)
  • Person who has tested positive for COVID-19 (laboratory confirmed) but has not had any symptoms (in the 2 days before the date of specimen collection until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation).

  • Stay home for 14 days after last exposure and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others at all times
  • Self-monitor for symptoms
    • Check temperature twice a day
    • Watch for fever , cough, or shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19
  • Avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop