How long should I quarantine if I am COVID-19 asymptomatic?

Author: Abigale Botsford  |  Last update: Tuesday, May 17, 2022

COVID-19
Common question

How long should I quarantine if I am COVID-19 asymptomatic?

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19.

When does a person with COVID-19 start being contagious?

Researchers estimate that people who get infected with the coronavirus can spread it to others 2 to 3 days before symptoms start and are most contagious 1 to 2 days before they feel sick.

How long does isolation last for asymptomatic people during the COVID-19 pandemic?

For people who are infected but asymptomatic (never develop symptoms), isolation and precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the first positive test.

Should I get tested for COVID-19 if I have no symptoms and I've been exposed?

Even if you don't have symptoms, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure. If you need help, health department staff can provide information about the best time to get a vaccine and resources for COVID-19 testing in your area. If your test result is positive, you have COVID-19 and should isolate for 10 days.

Can you get the COVID-19 from someone who has no symptoms?

Both flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by people before they begin showing symptoms; by people with very mild symptoms; and by people who never experience symptoms (asymptomatic people).

Can I Have COVID-19 Without Symptoms?

How long are you contagious if you are an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a 10- to 14-day quarantine period for anyone testing positive for the virus. The research from South Korea, however, found that asymptomatic people were contagious for about 17 days and those with symptoms were contagious for up to 20 days.

How long should I wait to get tested for COVID-19 after being exposed if I am fully vaccinated?

- If you have been fully vaccinated and around someone who has COVID-19 (close contact), you do not need to stay away from others (quarantine), or be restricted from work unless you develop COVID-like symptoms. We recommend that you get tested 3-5 days after your last exposure to someone with COVID-19.

Should I get tested after a close contact with someone who has COVID-19 if I am fully vaccinated?

• If you've had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don't have symptoms. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative.

Should vaccinated people get tested for COVID-19?

People who are fully vaccinated should get tested 3-5 days after coming into close contact with someone with COVID-19 and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days or until they test negative. If symptoms develop, they should isolate and get tested immediately.

What should you do if you have been around a person with COVID-19?

For Anyone Who Has Been Around a Person with COVID-19

Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person.

How long will asymptomatic people test positive for COVID-19?

In general, asymptomatic people may test positive for 1-2 weeks, while those with mild-to moderate disease often continue to test positive for a week or more after this.

When should I end isolation after a positive COVID-19 test?

Isolation and precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the first positive viral test.

How many asymptomatic people who test positive for COVID-19 will remain symptom-free?

Approximately 20% of asymptomatic people who test positive for COVID-19 will remain symptom-free over time, according to two studies published September 22 in different journals. The researchers propose, therefore, that most asymptomatic patients should be considered presymptomatic.

Can you get COVID-19 after being vaccinated?

• Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. When these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild.

• If you are fully vaccinated and become infected with the Delta variant, you can spread the virus to others.

Will getting a COVID-19 vaccine cause me to test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?

No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.​

If your body develops an immune response to vaccination, which is the goal, you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus.

Learn more about the possibility of COVID-19 illness after vaccination

Can COVID-19 be spread by someone who has been vaccinated?


Early evidence suggests infections in fully vaccinated persons caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be transmissible to others; however, SARS-CoV-2 transmission between unvaccinated persons is the primary cause of continued spread.

What steps should you take after coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

What should vaccinated people do if they come in contact with someone who has COVID-19?

Fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days following the date of their exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. They should isolate if they test positive.

Can someone test negative and later test positive on a viral test for COVID-19?

Yes, it is possible. You may test negative if the sample was collected early in your infection and test positive later during this illness. You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and get infected then. Even if you test negative, you still should take steps to protect yourself and others. See Testing for Current Infection for more information.

What should I do if I've been exposed to a person with COVID-19 and I have fully recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the previous 90 days?

Someone who tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test within the previous 90 days and has subsequently recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms does not need to quarantine. However, close contacts with prior COVID-19 infection in the previous 90 days should:
• Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days after exposure.
• Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate immediately if symptoms develop.
• Consult with a healthcare professional for testing recommendations if new symptoms develop.

Should I get tested for COVID-19 if I develop symptoms?

• People who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should get tested. While waiting for test results, they should stay away from others, including staying apart from those living in their household.

What does a negative COVID-19 virus test result mean if you have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you test negative for the virus that causes COVID-19, the virus was not detected.

• If you have symptoms of COVID-19:
- You may have received a false negative test result and still might have COVID-19. You should isolate away from others.
- Contact your healthcare provider about your symptoms, especially if they worsen, about follow-up testing, and how long to isolate.

What is asymptomatic transmission?

An asymptomatic laboratory-confirmed case is a person infected with COVID-19 who does not develop symptoms. Asymptomatic transmission refers to transmission of the virus from a person, who does not develop symptoms.

There are few reports of laboratory-confirmed cases who are truly asymptomatic, and to date, there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission. This does not exclude the possibility that it may occur. Asymptomatic cases have been reported as part of contact tracing efforts in some countries.

How long do COVID-19 patients continue to shed the virus?

The duration of viral shedding varies significantly and may depend on severity. Among 137 survivors of COVID-19, viral shedding based on testing of oropharyngeal samples ranged from 8-37 days, with a median of 20 days.

What is an asymptomatic case of COVID-19?

An asymptomatic case is an individual who has a laboratory confirmed positive test and who has no symptoms during the complete course of infection.

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