I’m a Close Contact of a Positive Case

The rapid spread of COVID-19 through our community means that we’re all at risk for exposure. If you think you’ve had close contact (with someone for more than 15 minutes less than 6’ apart from one another), please stay home for at least 7 days but continue to self-monitor for symptoms including fever for 14 days after your last exposure. Get tested here if you become sick.

The CDC issued shortened quarantine criteria. As of December 5, 2020, the Wyoming Department of Health adopted this new criteria:

Due to the continued risk of transmission for people who live in a congregate and/or residential care setting (long-term care facilities, prisons/jails, homeless shelters, etc.), quarantine generally should not be shortened from 14 days in those settings.

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) continues to recommend a COVID-19 quarantine period of 14 days following exposure. The following options to shorten quarantine are acceptable alternatives:

  • For contacts who have monitored themselves daily and have not had any symptoms of COVID-19, quarantine can end after 10 days. In this instance, individuals meeting these criteria could resume their usual activities beginning on day 11 after the last exposure. They should continue to monitor themselves daily for symptoms for the full 14 days following exposure.
  • For contacts who have monitored themselves daily for symptoms, have not had any symptoms of COVID-19, and have tested negative on a molecular test collected within 48 hours before quarantine is discontinued, quarantine can end after 7 days following the last exposure. In this instance, individuals meeting these criteria could resume their usual activities beginning on day 8 after exposure. They should continue to monitor themselves daily for symptoms for the full 14 days.

In no circumstances can quarantine be discontinued before 7 full days of quarantine have passed since exposure. WDH recommends that close contacts continue to take measures to protect themselves and others such as avoiding crowds, social distancing, correct and consistent mask use, and hand and cough hygiene for the full 14 days.

Regardless of whether someone is released from quarantine early, if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19 illness in the 14 days following their exposure, they must isolate immediately and contact a healthcare provider.

WDH continues to recommend that contacts be tested for COVID-19 during their quarantine period, even if they are completing 10 days or 14 days of quarantine.

  • Will the health department be contacting me?
    • No. As of November 5, 2020, CNCHD no longer contact traces contacts. We only do full contact tracing with confirmed positive cases.
  • How will I know I’m a contact?
    • The positive case should notify you.
  • I was a contact and want to test. What should I do?
    • CNCHD recommends testing no earlier than 5-7 days after the last contact with the positive.
    • Ideally, test on Day 5 and Day 11 after exposure to the positive case.
    • If you test too early after exposure, tests may not detect the virus as accurately.
  • What if I’ve been exposed to someone who was exposed to a positive (i.e. contact of a contact or a tertiary contact)?
    • No action is necessary unless the person with whom you’ve had direct contact tests positive.
    • You do not meet quarantine and/or testing criteria.
    • Resume normal activities.
  • What if I’ve been to a business, location or event that has reported positive cases?
    • Monitor for symptoms for up to 14 days after your last known/suspected exposure.
    • Stay home and get tested if you become sick.
  • I was a close contact of a positive case, but I just tested negative. Do I still have to quarantine? It depends see above criteria or reach out for more info.
    • Remember, a negative test only captures that moment in time, so you can still become positive or get sick anytime in 14 days after you had close contact to a positive case.
    • Your quarantine ends after 14 days since exposure and you have no symptoms.
  • What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
    • Isolation is for confirmed positive cases and lasts a minimum of 10 days
    • Quarantine is for contacts and lasts 14 days from the last confirmed date of contact with the positive case
      • Negative test results do not dismiss or end quarantine
      • Even with a negative test, the full 14 day quarantine must be completed
    • If you are quarantined with a confirmed positive household member, your 14 day quarantine begins after the positive person has completed 10 day isolation and deemed recovered.
      • The virus has a 14 day incubation period, so you could catch it and develop illness anytime during the 14 day period
      • Any kind of re-exposure resets quarantine with a new 14 days each time
    • A positive case is considered recovered after all of the following:
      • A positive case is considered recovered after a minimum of 10 days have passed since symptom onset or test collection AND;
      • No fever for 24 hours without the use of medications AND;
      • Symptoms have improved
    • Self-isolation: someone who is ill and waiting for test results
      • If results are negative and after you are symptom-free, return to normal activity
      • If results are negative, but your symptoms do not improve, contact your primary care provider for further evaluation and testing if necessary
    • Documentation Requestions
      • How can I get an official quarantine letter for work/school/etc.?
        • Option 1: Request documentation from the person who tested positive with whom you were in contact OR;
        • Option 2: Fill out this form, and CNCDH will provide you with documentation within 1-5 business days.
      • How can I get a quarantine letter for my child to be eligible for virtual learning?
        • The school district offers a grace period for virtual learning in the event of a positive test or contact until CNCHD is able to provide an official letter.
        • Contact the school principal to explain the delay, and CNCHD will send a letter before your child returns to school.