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LACMA-Blog | LAC DPH Health Update: Isolation and Quarantine for

Close contacts – General public

Definition of close contact: anyone sharing the same indoor airspace (e.g. home, clinic waiting room, airplane, etc.) with a person with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a period of 24 hours (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for 15 minutes in total) while the case was infectious*.

*A case of COVID-19 is considered infectious 2 days before the onset of symptoms (or 2 days before the initial collection of positive tests if asymptomatic) until the end of their isolation.

Asymptomatic close contacts in the general public do not need to be quarantined, but should:

  1. Wear a highly protective mask around others indoors and near others outdoors, until Day 10. This includes wearing at home.
  2. Monitor their health until day 10. If symptoms develop, they should stay home and be tested for COVID-19.
  3. Test 3-5 days* after their last exposure (unless they have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 90 days).

If they test positive at any time, they must follow the isolation requirements at

*If the close contact or someone they live with is at increased risk of serious illness, testing is recommended as soon as possible and, if negative, again on day 5. Early identification of infection after exposure allows for earlier action to prevent spread to others with whom they live and earlier access to outpatient treatment options if symptoms are detected.

Instructions for close contacts are available at