Self-quarantine instructions

When should I self-quarantine?

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should self-quarantine. 

Even though you feel well now, it is possible that you are also infected. It can take 2 to 14 days to show symptoms, so we may not know for up to 14 days if you are infected or not. Self-quarantine ensures that you do not pass on the infection to anyone else.

How long do I need to self-quarantine? 

Your last day of quarantine is 14 days from when you were last in contact with the person with COVID-19. 

What are the restrictions? 

You MUST restrict activities and limit all movements that may put you in contact with others during the quarantine period. 

  1. Stay home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  2. Do not allow visitors and limit the number of people in your home. 
  3. Separate yourself from others in your home. 
    • Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home as much as possible. It is very important to stay away from people who are at higher risk of serious illness. This includes people who are age 65 years and older, pregnant, or have a health problem such as a chronic disease or a weak immune system. Consider different living arrangements for these high-risk people if possible 
    • Use a separate bathroom if available
    • Try to stay at least 6 feet away from others
    • Do not handle pets or other animals
    • Do not prepare or serve food to others
    • Avoid caring for children if possible

Can I leave my residence or run errands? 

  • If possible, arrange for food and other necessities to be delivered to your home (by friends, family, delivery service, etc)
  • If you have no choice but to go out for essential supplies and you still have no symptoms, you can go out but be as quick as you can, go at a time when the store is not as busy, and stay at least 6 feet away from others as much as possible
  • You can go on a private balcony or yard or walk outside if you can stay at least 6 feet away from others

Can I use public transport? 

If you must leave home, do not use public transport. Use a private vehicle if possible. If you cannot drive yourself, make sure to maintain as much distance as possible between you and the driver and leave windows down. 

Should I wear a mask? 

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, including when you have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store. 

  • Stay at least 6 feet between yourself and others, even when you wear a face covering

Monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19: 

  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Loss of smell Loss of taste
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Runny nose

What if I develop symptoms?

If you develop cold or flu-like symptoms, you may have COVID-19. You should seek medical advice by contacting your health care provider. Follow these instructions for COVID-19 screening by Nebraska Medicine. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

If you have a medical appointment, call the health care provider prior to your appointment and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed. 

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Take care of your mental health

You might be feeling anxious, afraid, lonely or uncertain. Download this guide for a list of helpful behavioral health resources, and a few tips for taking care of your emotional health while you're self-quarantined.

What should I do if I have additional questions? 

What if I live with someone who's been told to self-quarantine?

  • If the person you live with is NOT exhibiting respiratory symptoms, you can go about your day-to-day business, and you do not need to be tested or monitored. 
  • If the person you live with is exhibiting respiratory symptoms, but has not yet tested positive for COVID-19:
    • Please make sure to stay home
    • Monitor your symptoms closely, and seek medical attention if your symptoms are worsening 
    • Avoid public areas and public transportation
    • Wear a facemask if you are sick
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, dispose of the tissue and immediately wash your hands
    • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, and if soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. Watch this example of how to properly wash your hands
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
    • Avoid sharing personal household items
    • Clean "high-touch" surfaces daily
  • If the person you live with has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be considered a close contact, and will also likely be asked to self-quarantine.

How do I take care of someone who's self-quarantined in my home?

If you need to provide care for a person infected or suspected to be infected with COVID-19, please follow these instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.