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Management of people who have been exposed or show symptoms of COVID-19

Please check often the CDC.gov website. This website is not intended to be kept current.

From: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html

Table 2: Risk Level
Risk Level Management if Asymptomatic Management if Symptomatic1
High risk
  • Quarantine (voluntary or under public health orders) in a location to be determined by public health authorities.
  • No public activities.
  • Daily active monitoring, if possible based on local priorities
  • Controlled travel
  • Immediate isolation with consideration of public health orders
  • Public health assessment to determine the need for medical evaluation; if medical evaluation warranted, diagnostic testing should be guided by CDC’s PUI definition
  • If medical evaluation is needed, it should occur with pre-notification to the receiving HCF and EMS, if EMS transport indicated, and with all recommended infection control precautions in place.
  • Controlled travel: Air travel only via air medical transport. Local travel is only allowed by medical transport (e.g., ambulance) or private vehicle while symptomatic person is wearing a face mask.
Medium risk Close contacts in this category:

  • Recommendation to remain at home or in a comparable setting
  • Practice social distancing
  • Active monitoring as determined by local priorities
  • Recommendation to postpone long-distance travel on commercial conveyances
  • Self-isolation
  • Public health assessment to determine the need for medical evaluation; if medical evaluation warranted, diagnostic testing should be guided by CDC’s PUI definition
  • If medical evaluation is needed, it should ideally occur with pre-notification to the receiving HCF and EMS, if EMS transport indicated, and with all recommended infection control precautions in place.
  • Controlled travel: Air travel only via air medical transport. Local travel is only allowed by medical transport (e.g., ambulance) or private vehicle while symptomatic person is wearing a face mask.
Travelers from mainland China (outside Hubei Province) or Iran

  • Recommendation to remain at home or in a comparable setting
  • Practice social distancing
  • Self-monitoring with public health supervision as determined by local priorities
  • Recommendation to postpone additional long-distance travel on commercial conveyances after they reach their final destination
Travelers from other country with widespread transmission

  • Recommendation to remain at home or in a comparable setting,
  • Practice social distancing
  • Self-monitoring
  • Recommendation to postpone additional long-distance travel on commercial conveyances after they reach their final destination
Travelers from country with sustained community transmission

  • Practice social distancing
  • Self-observation
Low risk
  •  No restriction on movement
  • Self-observation
  • Self-isolation, social distancing
  • Person should seek health advice to determine if medical evaluation is needed.
  • If sought, medical evaluation and care should be guided by clinical presentation; diagnostic testing for COVID-19 should be guided by CDC’s PUI definition.
  • Travel on commercial conveyances should be postponed until no longer symptomatic.
No identifiable risk None
  • Self-isolation, social distancing
  • Person should seek health advice to determine if medical evaluation is needed.
  • If sought, medical evaluation and care should be guided by clinical presentation; diagnostic testing for COVID-19 should be guided by CDC’s PUI definition.
  • Travel on commercial conveyances should be postponed until no longer symptomatic.

EMS = emergency medical services; HCF = healthcare facility; PUI = Person Under Investigation for COVID-19
1For the purpose of this document: subjective or measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

Note: The public health management recommendations made above are primarily intended for jurisdictions not experiencing sustained community transmission. In jurisdictions not experiencing sustained community transmission, CDC recommends that post-exposure public health management for asymptomatic exposed individuals continue until 14 days after the last potential exposure; however, these decisions should be made based on the local situation, available resources, and competing priorities. These factors should also guide decisions about managing symptomatic exposed individuals.

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