COVID-19 quarantine guidance

The Tennessee Department of Health considers being within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more to be considered a close contact and warrant a quarantine.

On Tuesday, the Tennessee Department of Health updated its quarantine guidance for those possibly exposed to COVID-19 to better align with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state health department recommends those who have had close contact to someone with COVID-19 to quarantine at home for 14 days. The health department outlines five examples that are considered close contact:

  1. Being within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
  2. Providing care at home to someone with COVID-19
  3. Having direct physical contact with a person with COVID-19, be it a handshake, hug or otherwise
  4. Sharing a cup or eating utensils with a person with COVID-19
  5. A person with COVID-19 has sneezed, coughed or got respiratory droplets on you

If an individual meets the above criteria for having had close contact with someone with COVID-19, the health department advises them to "watch for cough, fever (100.4°F), shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19."

Furthermore, those quarantining are advised to continue to stay away from other by a distance of at least six feet, continue to cover coughs and clean their hands, and to call ahead if visiting a doctor.

The recommended 14-day quarantine should begin on the date in which that person was exposed to a known positive COVID-19 case.

Exceptions to the 14-day quarantine include those who show no symptoms - these people may end their quarantine on day ten, as suggested by the health department. Furthermore, if a Tennessean is exposed but tests negative after day five of the quarantine, they may end their quarantine on day seven.

For more COVID-19 safety information from the Tennessee Department of Health, click here.