COVID-19 recommendations

How can I keep myself and others healthy?

Everyone can take steps to protect themselves against COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated and boosted. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 illness. Visit the COVID-19 vaccine webpage to find nearby locations offering COVID-19.
  • Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine if you test positive for COVID-19 or are around someone who tests positive. 
  • Monitor COVID-19 Community Levels for Clark County and take precautions based on local levels. COVID-19 Community Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.

Everyday practices to prevent colds, influenza and other respiratory illnesses can also protect people against COVID-19. Clark County Public Health recommends people take the following actions to keep themselves healthy:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Stay home and away from others when sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 -- even those who are fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 in the past -- should be tested for COVID-19. Testing can be done at a local medical office or testing site or by using an at-home rapid antigen test. 

Here is guidance for people who have or think they have COVID-19:

People who are unable to access testing through their regular health care provider, those who do not have a health care provider or those who are uninsured can find providers offering testing on our COVID-19 testing webpage.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

Health care providers and laboratories notify Clark County Public Health every time someone tests positive for COVID-19. People who test positive may receive a call from Public Health. We ask everyone who tests positive, regardless of vaccination status, to isolate at home to ensure they don’t spread the virus to others.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 should stay home and away from others (isolate) for at least 5 days, regardless of vaccination status. Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms developed or, if no symptoms, the date of the test.

People who test positive and have symptoms can end isolation when:

  • at least 5 days have passed since symptoms began AND
  • they’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medicine AND
  • other symptoms are improving

Those who test positive but do not have symptoms can end isolation when:

  • at least 5 days have passed since the date of their first positive test AND
  • they have not developed symptoms of COVID-19

Everyone ending isolation after 5 full days should continue to wear a well-fitted mask for another 5 full days anytime they are around other people. People who are unable to wear a mask when around others should isolate for a full 10 days.

People who are severely ill with COVID-19 and people with compromised immune systems might need to isolate at home longer and should consult with their health care provider.

Visit the CDC website for more information about isolation.

See the handout, What to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, for additional guidance. 

Public Health also asks everyone who tests positive to notify anyone they were in close contact with that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

What should I do if I'm around someone who tests positive?

Those who had close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 may be at risk of getting sick. This includes close contact that occurred in the two days before the sick person’s symptoms began up until the sick person began isolating at home.

Close contacts include everyone who was within 6 feet of the person who tested positive for 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period.

Anyone who is not up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations (including boosters, if eligible) and is in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 needs to quarantine for at least 5 days. Day 1 is the first full day after last contact with the person who has COVID-19.

People who need to quarantine can leave quarantine after 5 full days if no symptoms develop but should:

  • get tested at least 5 days after last close contact
  • watch for symptoms until 10 days after last close contact
  • isolate immediately if symptoms develop and get tested for COVID-19
  • wear a well-fitted mask for another 5 full days anytime they are around others
  • avoid being around people who are at high risk for severe illness

Some people do not have to quarantine if they are in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 if they do not develop symptoms:

People who do not need to quarantine should:

  • get tested at least 5 days after last close contact (people with previous COVID-19 infection do not need to test if no symptoms develop)
  • watch for symptoms until 10 days after last close contact
  • isolate immediately if symptoms develop and get tested for COVID-19
  • wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days anytime they are around others
  • avoid being around people who are at high risk for severe illness

People who are unable to wear a mask when around others should quarantine for 10 full days.

People in certain congregate settings with higher risk of virus transmission may need to quarantine for 10 full days, regardless of vaccination status. People living and working in non-healthcare congregate setting should follow state Department of Health guidance for those settings.

Visit the CDC website for more information about quarantine.

See the handout, What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19, for additional information. 

Recommendations for schools

While COVID-19 exposures may occur in school settings, data indicates that rigorous health and safety measures can limit transmission of COVID-19 in schools. Measures such as small groupings of students, ensuring physical distancing, wearing face coverings, frequent handwashing, and increased cleaning and disinfecting can help reduce the risk of virus transmission in schools. 

The Washington State Department of Health's Requirements and Guidance to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission in K-12 Schools and Child Care outlines requirements and recommendations for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in schools. Additional recommendations are available in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools.

The state health department encourages districts to work with local health departments, however, school administrators are ultimately responsible for establishing appropriate education services.

Information about COVID-19 cases in local public and private K-12 schools is available on the COVID-19 cases in schools page. Additional resources for schools and parents are available on COVID-19 resources page.