• COVID-19 Positive Case Guidance

    The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) provides the following guidance for individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19. OHA wants to provide these individuals with steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in their home and community. 

    Symptoms of COVID-19

    The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. 

    Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure to the virus. 

    Most people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, but some people will get sicker and may need to be hospitalized. 

    Many people who get the virus may not have any symptoms at all, but they can still pass it to other people without realizing it.

    Stay home except to get medical care

    You should stay home except if you need medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. To the extent possible, avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

    Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

    Stay in your own room and away from other people in your home as much as possible. Use a separate bathroom, if available. Increase airflow in shared spaces like the kitchen or bathroom by opening windows. If you need help, have just one person who is healthy provide care, and use a face covering when you can’t avoid being in a shared space.

    Be extra cautious to limit your contact with people who are at higher risk for severe illness, which includes those 60 years or older, pregnant women, and those with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes.

    Even with these precautions, all unvaccinated members of your household need to quarantine at home. Notify your household members that you have COVID-19 and they need to quarantine at home and monitor for symptoms for 5 days following exposure. Close contacts that are up to date with vaccination do not need to quarantine, but should wear a mask around others for 10 days after the exposure date and monitor for symptoms. All close contacts are encouraged to test 5 days after exposure.

    If additional household members become ill with COVID-19, the total duration of quarantine may need to be longer.

    Avoid contact with pets and other animals while sick. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals. If you must care for your pet, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face covering.

    Call ahead before visiting your doctor

    If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them you have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected. 

    If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive or immediately after they arrive.

    Wear a cloth or disposable face covering if you have one

    Wear a cloth or disposable face covering when you cannot avoid being around other people (for example, sharing a room or vehicle) or pets, and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a cloth or disposable face covering, people who live with you should not be in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room (and open a window if possible). Once your 5-day isolation is over, you must continue to wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days.

    Cover your coughs and sneezes

    Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can and immediately clean your hands as described below.

    Clean your hands often

    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60–90% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Soap and water are preferred if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

    Avoid sharing personal household items

    Do not share dishes, utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

    Clean all "high-touch" surface areas every day

    High-touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the instructions on the label. Bathroom and toilet surfaces should be cleaned daily with household cleaner and then with a bleach disinfectant.

    When is it safe to leave home?

    Oregon Health Authority estimates your illness started on {start date} and on {end date} it may be safe to leave your home and be around other people. Before doing so, be sure you meet the criteria listed below.

    You may leave your home if all three of the following are true:

    • At least 24 hours have passed after you last had a fever (without using medicine to reduce your fever); and

    • COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea) are getting better; and

    • At least 5 days have passed since the first day you got sick or since your first positive test for COVID-19.

    Once your 5-day isolation is over, you must continue to wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days.

    What if someone in my household becomes sick?

    If someone in your household becomes sick with symptoms (cough, fever, or shortness of breath) it is possible that they have COVID-19. They should contact their healthcare provider for medical advice, and ask about testing, especially if they are over the age of 60, pregnant, or have chronic medical conditions. They should also follow all the precautions described above.

    Should you still get the vaccine?

    Yes, you should still get vaccinated, even if you had COVID-19. If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and still have symptoms, you should wait to the end of your isolation period to get the vaccine to avoid infecting others. If you are between doses, you should still get your second dose. While there is no recommended interval between infection and vaccination, current evidence suggests that risk of reinfection is low in the months after initial infection, but may increase with time due to waning immunity. 


    There are treatments you can ask your healthcare provider about. They may be an option to help prevent severe illness. If you are interested in learning more, contact a health care provider or medical professional to find out if you are eligible for treatment. 

    More helpful information

    What to do if I am sick? www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

    Governor’s Order to “Stay Home, Save Lives” govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19