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Quarantine FAQs

  • Who needs to quarantine?
    Only those who are in close contact (within 6 ft for 15 min or more with no mitigation) with a confirmed case will need to quarantine.

    Who determines which individuals need to quarantine?
    The County Health Department will advise schools on which students or staff will need to follow quarantine procedures

    Do siblings or others in the household of someone who is quarantining also have to quarantine?
    No. Only those individuals who have had exposure and close contact with a confirmed case have to quarantine. Again, the County Health Department case investigators will provide us guidance on who needs to quarantine.

    Will every family be notified when there is a positive case at school?
    No. The school will make DIRECT contact with those students and staff who must quarantine based upon guidance from Pinal County Health Department. All confirmed active cases will be updated and viewable by school on our website.

Glossary of Terms

  • 1. Close contact for COVID-19 is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

    2. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

    3. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. For COVID-19, this means staying home or in a private room with a private bathroom for 14 days after last contact with a person who has COVID-19.

    4. Severe/critical illness: Illness due to COVID-19 that required any intensive care during hospitalization.

    5. Severely immunocompromised means you have:

    • Been taking chemotherapy for cancer recently
    • HIV and a CD4 T-cell count <200
    • An immunodeficiency disorder
    • Been taking high-dose steroids (like prednisone 20mg/day for >14days), OR
    • Another condition that a healthcare provider has told you makes you severely immunocompromised.

    6. Symptomatic: People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

    • 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
    • Diarrhea


      This list does not include all possible symptoms. Public Health will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

‘Release from Isolation and Quarantine' Guidance

  • Recommendations for quarantine and discontinuation of isolation precautions and home isolation, based upon a person’s symptoms and clinical testing are below. In addition, the release from isolation flowchart can be found here. CDC and ADHS do not recommend a test-based strategy to discontinue isolation. For people that previously tested positive for COVID-19 who remain asymptomatic after recovery, retesting is not recommended within 3 months after the date of symptom onset for the initial COVID-19 infection. The most recent updates to this document can be found here.

    ● If a person is symptomatic and awaiting** COVID-19 test results:

    • Stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until results are available. If results are delayed, follow guidance for symptomatic and tested positive for COVD-19. Once results are available, follow the recommendations below based on results.

    ● If a person is symptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19 by PCR or antigen testing, stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until:

    • At least 10 days* have passed since symptoms first appeared; AND
    • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; AND
    • Other symptoms have improved.

    ● If a person is symptomatic and tested negative** for COVID-19 by PCR or antigen testing, stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until:

    • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; AND
    • Other symptoms have improved.

    ● If a person is symptomatic and has not been tested** for COVID-19 by PCR or antigen testing, stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until:

    • At least 10 days* have passed since symptoms first appeared; AND
    • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; AND
    • Other symptoms have improved.

    ● If a person is asymptomatic and awaiting** COVID-19 test results:

    • No isolation is required while waiting for test results. Take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Once results are available, follow recommendations based on results.

    ● If a person is asymptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19 by PCR or antigen testing, stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until:

    • At least 10 days* have passed since specimen collection of the first positive COVID-19 PCR/antigen testing while asymptomatic. If symptoms develop, follow guidance for symptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19.

    ● If a person is asymptomatic and tested positive** for COVID-19 by serology:

    • No isolation is required since there is a low likelihood of active infection. Take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    ● If a person is asymptomatic and tested negative** for COVID-19 by PCR, antigen testing, or serology:

    • No isolation is required. Take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    ● If a person has other non-compatible symptoms and has not been tested for COVID-19, stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until:

    • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; AND
    • Other symptoms have improved.

    *A person who had severe/critical illness or is severely immunocompromised should:
    ● If symptomatic, stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until:

    • At least 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; AND
    • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; AND
    • Other symptoms have improved.

    ● If asymptomatic, stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until:

    • At least 20 days have passed since specimen collection of the first positive COVID-19 PCR/antigen testing while asymptomatic. If symptoms develop, follow guidance for symptomatic and tested positive for COVD-19.


    Outside of these criteria above, extension of isolation is not routinely recommended if an individual is retested within 3 months of onset of symptoms or date of first positive test while asymptomatic.
    **A person who had known close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case should quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to the case regardless of negative tests results or illness where no testing was performed. However, if they test positive for COVID-19 by PCR or antigen testing, they should follow the relevant isolation guidance. Healthcare workers and critical infrastructure workers should follow guidance that includes special consideration for these groups. If you are a healthcare worker or critical infrastructure worker, please follow-up with your employer or HR for specific guidelines. In addition for people previously diagnosed with symptomatic COVID-19 who remain asymptomatic after recovery, quarantine is not recommended in the event of close contact with an infected person.

    Recent Updates to Guidance

    The following changes were made to the guidance:
    ● Added guidance on not using a test-based strategy, extended isolation (i.e. 20 days) for individuals with severe/critical illness or that are severely immunocompromised, quarantine guidance, and glossary of terms.
    ● Changed recommendations for serial testing of asymptomatic individuals and reduced time from fever to 24 hours from 72 hours.
    ● Removed serology from recommendations for diagnostic tests (i.e., PCR or antigen testing)