I have been advised to quarantine

You can develop COVID-19 anytime during the 14 days after your last close contact with someone who has COVID-19. In order to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others, you must quarantine, which means you must stay home from work, school, and other activities.

When am I Required to Quarantine?

Isolating and quarantine are recommended for people who:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Are a "close contact" or live with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

How Do I Quarantine?

  • Monitor your symptoms for 14 days after your last exposure to COVID-19
  • Stay home from school, work, and other activities and get tested as soon as possible if you develop symptoms, or at least 5 days after your last exposure to COVID-19. If positive, follow isolation guidance for people who test positive; if negative, continue quarantining.
  • Even if your test result is negative, you must stay home for the full 14 days before returning to work.

We recommend checking your county’s public health page for quarantine periods.  It is not possible at this time to list all counties in WI who have adopted or have chosen not to adopt this new quarantine period.

On Saturday, December 12th, Dane County (for example) adopted the reduced quarantine period for asymptomatic individuals.  The new quarantine period for someone not experiencing symptoms is now 10 days without a COVID-19 test, or 7 days (on day 7) after receiving a negative test and as long as the test occurred on day 5 of quarantine or later. As of December 20, 2020, the following additional southern WI counties have chosen to adopt a similar quarantine timeline: Waukesha, Iowa, Columbia and Rock. Sauk County is currently still advising the 14-day quarantine period. As stated earlier, please check your county’s public health website or contact our consulting team if you have specific questions about your county.

What is the Difference Between Isolation and Quarantine?

Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

This video produced by the CDC may help clarify the differences.

When Can I Return to Work?

If you were quarantine or isolation, either for personally testing positive for COVID-19, you live with someone or was a close contact to someone who tested positive then you should plan to return to work after one of the following applies:

  • you have quarantined for 14 days after your last exposure. No test is required to end quarantine.
  • Quarantine for 10 days after your last exposure. No test is required to end quarantine. Monitor yourself for symptoms until 14 days after your last exposure.
  • Quarantine and get tested for COVID-19 6 or 7 days after last exposure. If your test is negative, you could end quarantine after 7 days of quarantine. You must have your negative test result before ending quarantine and the test cannot be before day 6. Monitor yourself for symptoms until 14 days after your last exposure.

Definitions

Close contact: Someone who was within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive person (regardless of wearing a mask or other PPE) for at least 15 cumulative minutes Keep in mind the minutes of close contact add up; being within six feet for three, 5-minute periods would make someone a close contact. Can occur starting 2 days before positive test or illness onset, whichever occurred first. 

Quarantine: To separate and restrict the movement of a person who was exposed to COVID-19 in case they become sick. Most people start their quarantine when they find out about their exposure and can end their quarantine 14 days after the last time they were with the person with COVID-19.

Isolation: To separate a sick person with COVID-19 from people who are not sick. People can end isolation when the following criteria are met: They have been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications) Their other symptoms have improved It has been at least 10 days since their symptom onset.

Quick Answers

The advice we've found is that you will stay home until test results are received. Refer to  "Quick Answers" below once test results are received. 

From what we've read, you should stay home until all of the following apply:

  1. You have been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications)
  2. Your other symptoms have improved.
  3. It has been at least 10 days since your symptom onset. A doctor's note or Public Health release is not required to return to work.

The advice we've seen id that you need to stay home and monitor for symptoms. If you have no symptoms, you can return 10 days after you were tested.

If during the 10 days you become symptomatic, then you must continue to stay home for at least 10 more days from the date of the symptom onset and meet all the following before returning to work

  1. You have been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications)
  2. Your other symptoms have improved.
  3. It has been at least 10 days since your symptom onset. A doctor's note or Public Health release is not required to return to work.

You do not have COVID-19.

You should follow standard employee illness protocols for returning to work, such as 24 hours fever-free, or 2 days after last episode of vomiting or diarrhea, or when on antibiotics for at least 24 hours, or as approved to work by a doctor. A doctor’s note may be required to return to work based on medical condition and business illness policy.