New Guidelines for COVID-19: A Tip Sheet For Self-Advocates


This resource provides information on updated COVID-19 guidelines, including quarantine instructions and timelines.

Words to know and understand:

N95 or KN95 masks are high-quality masks that help lower the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Close contact is when you are not wearing a well-fitting mask, and you are less than 6 feet away from someone with COVID-19 for a total of more than 15 minutes at one sitting.

Quarantine means to stay away from others for at least 5 days while you wait to see if you have COVID-19.

Isolation means to stay away from others when you have COVID-19.

Symptoms are the way our bodies tell us we may have COVID-19. These may be any or all of these:

  • A fever of 100.4 F or higher
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • Diarrhea
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Runny nose

COVID-19 Quick Check Timeline for Contact

Day of Close ContactDay 1 QuarantineDay 2 QuarantineDay 3 QuarantineDay 4 QuarantineDay 5 QuarantineDay 6
Start quarantineWatch for symptomsWatch for symptomsWatch for symptomsWatch for symptomsWatch for symptomsIf no symptoms, quarantine is done

COVID-19 Quick Check Timeline for Symptoms

First Day of SymptomsDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6-10
Start isolation; get testedIsolateIsolateIsolateIsolate; check temperatureIsolate; if no temperature today or yesterday, last day of isolationIf no temperature for 24 hours, done with isolation

Questions to Help Explain Quarantine and Isolation

Who does not have to quarantine after close contact?

People who have had all of their vaccines and booster for COVID-19 OR have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days do not have to quarantine IF they also do not have symptoms. They should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days, and get a COVID-19 test after 5 days.

When should I quarantine after close contact?

As soon as you learn you have had close contact.

How do I quarantine?

Follow these steps:

  • Stay home and away from other people, for at least 5 days after close contact. If you have to be around other people, wear a mask that fully covers your nose and mouth with no gaps. The N95 or KN95 are best.
  • Watch for symptoms for 5 days after close contact.
  • Get a COVID-19 test at least 5 days after close contact. This is recommended, not required if you don’t have symptoms.

When is quarantine done?

If your COVID-19 test is negative and you have no symptoms, you are done with quarantine. For 10 days after close contact, you should still watch for symptoms, wear a mask around others, and try not to go to places where you cannot keep your mask on, like the gym or a restaurant.

What if I have symptoms?

You should isolate and get a COVID-19 test. Contact your health professional, too. People who are fully vaccinated can get and spread COVID-19.

When do I go into isolation?

As soon as you have symptoms, or your test is positive.

How do I go into isolation?

Follow these steps:

  • If you can, stay in a separate room from other people and use a separate bathroom.
  • Open windows to let fresh air in.
  • Try to stay away from other people and pets in your home.
  • If you must be around other people, wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
  • Don’t share personal items like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Keep track of your symptoms.
  • If you have trouble breathing get emergency medical care right away.

When is isolation done?

  • After at least 5 days when you have no fever for 24
    hours and your other symptoms have improved.
  • Wait 5 more days if you cannot wear a mask.
  • Continue to wear a mask for 5 more days, and stay
    away from people who are at risk.
  • Do not go to places for 5 more days where you cannot wear a mask.

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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.