The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is making a change on quarantine recommendations for people that have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. This applies in non-healthcare, non-residential settings only. This includes businesses, education and child care settings.

  • Close contacts of COVID-positive cases will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days if a face covering was worn consistently and correctly by the positive case and close contacts. The positive case must isolate. The close contacts should self-monitor.
  • Self-monitoring entails close monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms over the subsequent 14 days, staying home if any symptoms develop, and speaking with a healthcare provider about COVID-19 testing in the case of any illness.
  • If people who are self-monitoring become ill but do not get tested, they should remain home until 10 days after symptom onset.
  • People currently in quarantine may be released from quarantine if a face covering was worn consistently and correctly by the positive case and close contacts during exposure.
  • If the positive case wore a face covering, but close contacts did not, those close contacts must be quarantined.
  • If the positive case did not wear a face covering, close contacts must quarantine whether or not they wore a face covering.
  • Quarantine of close contacts will still be necessary in residential and healthcare settings.

Please find an infographic depicting the new IDPH recommendations at https://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/userfiles/61/covid19/resources/WhenToQuarantine.pdf

Masks are proven to be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Increased mask use will reduce the number of individuals that need to quarantine. Along with wearing a face covering, we ask that everyone continue all recommended public health strategies:

  • Stay home when sick.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet whenever possible.
  • Wash hands frequently.