How long should you quarantine?

Your quarantine period starts the day you were in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Close contact means spending at least 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of someone over the course of a day, with or without a mask.

14-day Quarantine (Safest)

We recommend a 14-day quarantine period. Staying home and away from other people for 14 days is the safest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. 

  • You are required to quarantine for 14 days if you live in a long-term care facility or other licensed group setting.

  • Quarantine for a full 14-days if someone in your house has COVID-19 or if you live or work with people who are at risk for serious illness from COVID-19.

10-Day Quarantine 

If you have no symptoms, quarantine for at least 10 days. A 14-day quarantine is still best.

After 10 days, your risk of spreading the virus to others goes down. There is still a chance you can get sick and spread COVID-19 to others during days 11-14, even if you felt well on day 10. 

If you end quarantine after 10 days, continue to monitor yourself for symptoms daily for the full 14 days. It is very important to continue to wear a mask, wash your hands often and limit your contact with people you don’t live with.

If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from others and call your doctor or clinic right away. 

7-day quarantine is not recommended by Columbia County public health

The CDC offers the option to quarantine for 7 days if you have no symptoms and get a test on day 5, 6, or 7 with a negative result. Local public health experts do not recommend this in our region because:

  • there is a higher chance of spreading COVID-19 to people you care about if you end your quarantine after 7 days,

  • there is a high demand for local testing and limited resources, and

  • it can be difficult to time the test just right and get results quickly.

Public Health Quick Links
General Information
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 5:00
Michael Paul