What to Do If You Test Positive For Or Are Exposed to COVID-19


Nevada County Public Health Department guidance is aligned with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Isolation Guidance for the General Public, including for schools and child care settings.

  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and you have COVID-19 symptoms:
    • Stay home until you have not had a fever for 24 hours without using fever reducing medication AND other COVID-19 symptoms are mild and improving. 
    • Mask when around other people indoors for 10 days* after you become sick. You may remove your mask sooner than 10 days if you have two 2 negative tests at least one day apart. 
    • Avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 for 10 days*. Higher-risk individuals include the elderly and those who live in congregate care facilities.
    • Seek treatment. Contact a healthcare provider as soon as you test positive, particularly if you are at higher risk for severe COVID-19. If you are unable to access a healtcare provider, call the Nevada County COVID-19 Nurse Line at (530) 265-7258 for help finding treatment. 
  • If you have tested positive but do not have COVID-19 symptoms:
    • Mask when around other people indoors for 10 days* after you test positive. You may remove your mask sooner than 10 days if you have two 2 negative tests at least one day apart. 
    • Avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 for 10 days*. Higher-risk individuals include the elderly and those who live in congregate care facilities.
  • If you are a close contact** of someone who has COVID-19:
    • If you have new COVID-19 symptoms, you should test and mask right away.
    • If you do not have symptoms, and are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection and would benefit from treatment, you should test within 5 days. 
    • If you do not have symptoms and have contact with people who are at higher risk for severe infection, you should mask indoors when around such people for 10 days. Consider testing within 5 days after the last exposure date (Day 0) and before contact with higher-risk people. For further details, see CDPH COVID-19 testing guidance.

In the workplace, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Non-Emergency Regulations  or in some workplaces the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard (PDF) and should consult those regulations for additional requirements.  

NOTE: These recommendations do not apply to healthcare settings and other high-risk congregate settings. See below for facility-specific guidance. 
Call 2-1-1 or the Nevada County COVID-19 Nurse Line at (530) 265-7258 if you have questions or need help finding treatment or other resources. 

Healthcare Settings

Healthcare personnel in general acute care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities should follow recommendations as set forth in AFL 21-08.9. Healthcare personnel working in settings not covered by AFL 21-08.9 may also follow the guidance outlined in AFL 21-08.9. Healthcare facilities should follow the guidance for management of exposed or infected patients/residents in the CDC COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations.

Congregate Settings

See Healthcare Settings above for skilled nursing facility (SNF) guidance. Nevada County Public Health Department recommends staff and residents in other high-risk settings follow the CDC guidance linked below: 

Schools and Child Care Programs

For additional guidance on the management of infected and exposed people in K–12 school and child care settings, see the Guidance for K-12 Schools and Child Care Settings to Mitigate the Spread of Communicable Disease, 2023 -2024 School Year

*People who test positive for COVID-19 can be infectious 2 days before symptoms begin or you test positive (if no symptoms) through Day 10. (Day 0 is the date of symptoms or positive test).  

**CDPH defines a "close contact" as follows:

  1. In indoor spaces of 400,000 or fewer cubic feet per floor (such as homes, clinic waiting rooms, airplanes, etc.), close contact is defined as sharing the same indoor airspace for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) during an infected person's (confirmed by COVID-19 test or clinical diagnosis) infectious period.
  2. In large indoor spaces greater than 400,000 cubic feet per floor (such as open-floor plan offices, large retail stores, manufacturing, or food processing facilities), close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of the infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the infected persons infectious period. 

NOTE: Spaces that are separated by floor-to-ceiling walls (e.g., offices, suites, rooms, waiting areas, bathrooms, or break or eating areas that are separated by floor-to-ceiling walls) must be considered distinct indoor airspaces.