If You Have Been Around Someone with COVID-19

If you have been around someone who has COVID-19, you may need to figure out if you have been in close contact with them. 

Close contact means spending at least 15 minutes or more at one time within 6 feet of someone (family, friend, co-worker, acquaintance or someone you don’t know) with or without a face covering.

If you have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, you are at a higher risk of getting sick and spreading the disease to others. 

How will you know if you have been in close contact?

A call from a public health worker 

You may get a call from a public health worker to let you know you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. If you get a call, follow their instructions. Why they might be calling you→

Family, friends or someone else 

You may hear from a friend, family or your workplace that someone you know has COVID-19. Or you may find out that you visited a business where someone tested positive.

Because there are laws that protect people’s privacy, you might not know exactly who was sick.

To figure out if you had close contact, recall your activities and the precautions you took. Think about:

Just being in the same building as someone who tested positive for COVID-19 does not necessarily mean you had close contact.

If you're not sure or have questions, call your doctor's office or clinic. If you don't have a doctor call 211. 

What should you do? 

If you were around someone long enough, you might need to take steps to separate yourself from others.

If you didn’t have close contact, but were around someone with COVID-19, monitor yourself for symptoms→ for 14 days starting from the last time you were around them. Get ready to isolate yourself from others if you start to feel sick.

If you did have close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should quarantine or isolate yourself to prevent spreading the virus to others. 

I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Should I Isolate or Quarantine?

If you had close contact, but don’t feel sick, quarantine

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should stay home even if you don’t feel sick. This is also called quarantine→

Stay home for 14 days after you were exposed, even if you test negative. You might become sick with COVID-19 later.

If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from the rest of your household. 

How long should close contacts quarantine→

If you feel sick or test positive, isolate

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and have symptoms or if you test positive (even if you don’t feel sick), stay home and keep away from other people, even those in your own home. This is also called isolation→

Talk to your doctor about testing and care. If you don’t have a doctor, call 211 for assistance enrolling in health insurance and finding a provider near you.

Resources to help you stay home

  • Find resources to help you stay home (groceries, financial support, help with rent, other essentials). 
  • Call 211 for more information. Interpreters are available.
  • Columbia Health Services has started up a Text Resource Line. We have gathered a lot of resources and information in preparation to answer questions via that text line. Call Toll-Free or Text 800-244-4870  with questions about resources during this time, including food, childcare, healthcare, addiction/recovery, children's activity ideas, and education/homeschooling, emotion regulation or mental health care.
Public Health Quick Links
General Information
Michael Paul
Phone Numbers
General Public Health Inquiries and 24-hour Emergency Contact: 503-397-7247
Fax: 888-204-8568
Emergencies: Dial 911
230 Strand St.
Columbia County Courthouse Annex
St. Helens,

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30