Home Isolation and Quarantine Guidance - Contact Tracing

Depiction of the text message you will receive from Santa Clara County Department of Public Health.
Description: This is the text message you will receive from Santa Clara County Department of Public Health.
Hi Donald, this your Santa Clara County Department of Public Health reaching out about an important health issue. Please click the link to access your secure message. Your information is kept confidential and protected by California’s strict privacy laws. https://caconnected.cdph.ca.gov/?token=I2G4Z5E4H1&id=3A.
Nos estamos comunicando con usted para compartir información importante sobre su salud. Para español, responda “2”.

Received a text message and wondering if it is legitimate? You may be contacted if you were near someone who has COVID-19 or if you tested positive. Protect your family and friends by responding immediately. Learn more about this.

Texts & Survey for Contact Tracing – What to Expect

Why did I get this text message?

  • We need you to complete a COVID-19 contact tracing survey.
  • We may need to notify you of a positive test and/or COVID-19 exposure.
  • We also will follow-up with symptom check-ins through text messages to see if you feel sick. 
  • This is an automated system created by the state of California. It is used to support you as part of Santa Clara County’s COVID-19 contact tracing efforts.

Why is it so important to respond to the text message?

  • The sooner you respond, the sooner you can get important information, advice, testing, and any support you need.
  • Early medical care can improve your outcome if you do get sick.
  • Being aware of possible COVID-19 exposure helps you protect your friends and loved ones from exposure and illness. Responding to the text message can keep you from spreading the disease to others.

How do I know if this text message is legitimate or a scam?

  • CA Connected Logo - Keeping our families and communities healthy
    If you receive a text with a link from the phone number 233-93, it is safe to click on the link in this text message.
  • The text message points you to a state of California website called California Connected at caconnected.cdph.ca.gov. This is a safe and secure way to share information with us.
  • You may also call us at 408-970-2870to verify that the Public Health Department is trying to reach you. 

Below are screenshots of what someone would receive being asked to complete the survey:

CA Connected Screenshots of Phone

CA Connected Screenshots of Phone

Screenshot #1

Description: This is the text message you will receive from Santa Clara County Department of Public Health.

Hi Donald, this your Santa Clara County Department of Public Health reaching out about an important health issue. Please click the link to access your secure message. Your information is kept confidential and protected by California’s strict privacy laws. https://caconnected.cdph.ca.gov/?token=I2G4Z5E4H1&id=3A.

Nos estamos comunicando con usted para compartir información importante sobre su salud. Para español, responda “2”.

Screenshot #2

Description: After you click the link in the text message, this will be the first page of the survey. You will be asked to enter your name, zip code and date of birth into the form.

Caconnected.cdph.ca.gov

Please enter your date of birth and you zip code to confirm your identity

Name: Donald

Zip Code

Date of Birth

[Continue button]

Screenshot #3

Description: After you click the ‘continue’ button, you will be taken to the next page of the survey, where you can view the privacy policy and begin to answer the survey questions.

Caconnected.cdph.ca.gov

The Santa Clara Department of Public Health is working hard to slow the spread of COVID-19. You can help us by answering a few very important questions. The answers you give will help us protect you, the people in your house, and your community. And your answers will also help us learn how COVID-19 is spreading in our area.

We WILL NOT ask for your Social Security Number, income, credit card information, passwords, or immigration status.

“View Privacy Policy” – this allows you to view details of your privacy rights and use of information.

“Continue” – start questions.

[Continue button]

[View Privacy Policy button]

How does the text message system work?

  • You may receive links on your phone for Surveys, FAQs, or the Symptom Monitoring System. You can reply STOP at any time to stop receiving messages.
  • All information collected is protected and will be used only for public health purposes.No information will ever be requested about an individual’s Social Security Number, payment information, or immigration status.
  • Please see the CDPH website to learn more.

Why is it important to respond to a text if we might also receive a call from a Contact Tracer ?

  • With the Delta variant spreading more rapidly than previous COVID-19 variants, contact tracers are working hard to reach every case and contact.
  • The text message system is a tool that will help contact tracers keep pace with the rise of cases due to the Delta variant. The Virtual Assistant also helps ensure that every person is provided the information and support they need in a timely manner.

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Phone Calls for Contact Tracing – What to Expect

Illustration of woman in chair on the phone talking to a doctor

 

As a community, we need each and every one of us to do our part to slow the spread and keep our community healthy.

Your privacy is incredibly important to us, and any information you provide will only be used by the Public Health Department to ensure the health and safety of our community. You will never be asked for your social security number, financial information, or immigration status.

What happens when a contact tracer calls me?

You may receive a text and then a call from 916-262-7553 with the caller identity as “CA COVID TEAM.” This is our County of Santa Clara COVID Support Team trying to reach you. You can help protect your family and friends by answering the call.

The goal of the call is to make sure you have everything you need to safely stay home and prevent exposure to others.

If you have tested positive, our COVID Support Team will confirm your identity, ask you how you are feeling, and ask a few key questions to help us learn about your case. We will then ask you to think about where you have been in the 48 hours before your symptoms started until now. If you have no symptoms, we will ask you to think back to 48 hours before your positive test was taken until now. We will ask about the people who were in close contact with you and may have been exposed. Anyone who may have been exposed will be contacted to let them know of the exposure, while trying our best to keep your identity protected.

If you have been a close contact to someone during their contagious period, our COVID Support Team will confirm your identity and then notify you that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. We will provide information about when the exposure happened but not how or to whom, so that we can protect the identity of the person who was ill. We will answer your questions and advise that you be tested for COVID-19.

In order to stop the spread of the virus within your community, the most important thing you can do is answer our call and stay home if instructed to do so. If you have tested positive and are currently contagious or you have been exposed and could be contagious or become contagious soon, staying home will prevent others from getting infected. Our contact tracers are here to help you stay home safely and will talk to you about any help you need to stay home for the period we recommend.

How do I know the call is real or a scam?

The call you receive will come from 916-262-7553, with a location as Sacramento. The Caller ID will say that it is the CA COVID Team calling you. When we reach you, we will say that we are calling from Santa Clara County and will verify your identity by asking your birthday. We do need to ask questions about where you have been and the people you have spent time with.

The Santa Clara County COVID Support Team will never ask you for:

  • bank, credit card, or financial information;
  • money, gift cards, or money transfers;
  • Social Security numbers; or
  • immigration status.

If you want to double check that it is the Santa Clara County COVID Support Team calling you, you can hang up and call us back at 916-262-7553 to verify it is us calling. If you are using the number we called you on, you should be routed back to the contact tracer assigned to call you. You may also call us at 408-970-2870 to verify that the Public Health Department is trying to reach you.

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What is required?

Due to widespread vaccination against COVID-19, most of the previous State and County restrictions have been lifted, especially for fully vaccinated people. For information regarding the currently applicable COVID-19 rules, please see the County’s ”Public Health Orders” webpage and the County’s “Public Health Orders Frequently Asked Questions” webpage, which also links to various State resources.

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What is isolation? What is quarantine?

Both words mean staying home, without contact with others, for a certain period of time in order to prevent the spread of disease. “Isolation” is used for a person who has had a positive test result or symptoms and is likely contagious, and “quarantine” is used if a person was in close contact with someone who had a positive test result and might become contagious in the near future.

Everyone who is isolating or quarantining should:

  • Stay home
  • Separate yourself from others in your home
  • Do not allow visitors
  • Do not use public transportation
  • Do not prepare or serve food to others
  • If you are unable to isolate or quarantine safely at home, let the Santa Clara County COVID Support Team member know when they call you. They will work to assess your eligibility for housing, food, or other support services.

Depending on if you are in isolation or in quarantine, there are additional actions you should take below.

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When is a person with COVID-19 considered contagious?

A person who tests positive for COVID-19 is considered contagious starting 48 hours before symptoms began until at least 10 days after symptom onset AND at least 24 hours after resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications (like Tylenol or ibuprofen) AND improvement of other symptoms. If a person who tests positive has NO symptoms, that person is considered contagious starting 48 hours before their first positive test was collected until 10 days after their first positive test was collected.

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Who is a close contact?

A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of the infected person for at least 15 minutes at any time beginning 48 hours before the infected person had symptoms or tested positive.

Close contacts include people who had 15 minutes of continuous contact with the infected person, as well as people who had repeated short-duration interactions with the infected person that add up to at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour day. For example, if in the 48 hours before the infected person had symptoms or tested positive, someone had three 5-minute interactions with the infected person within a 24-hour period, that person would be considered a close contact.

In addition, while most face coverings reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission, they do not impact the determination of whether someone is a close contact and should quarantine.​

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Do you need to be tested for COVID-19?

Regardless of vaccination status, the County of Santa Clara urges the public to get tested for COVID-19 when experiencing symptoms of COVID-19,  when identified as a close contact to a case, and whenever recommended by the California Department of Public Health’s Updated Testing Guidance. In general, the County recommends testing immediately and again 5 days after last exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

If you have an ongoing exposure to a case and cannot separate yourself from them, follow the above testing guidance and get an additional test 5 days after the case completes their isolation period.

Please note: School aged (TK-12) children who were exposed to a COVID-19 confirmed case at school are usually asked to test as soon as they learn of the exposure and may be asked to test again on/after Day 5 after last exposure. The details of specific testing and quarantine recommendations for exposures in school settings are based on the California Department of Public Health and as directed by their school. 

To find testing sites and schedule an appointment, please visit www.sccfreetest.org.

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What should I do while I'm waiting for test results?

If you were a close contact of a person with COVID-19 and have no symptoms, then follow the Home Quarantine Steps while you are waiting for your test results.

If you are not a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you just need to wait for your test results. You do not need to follow isolation or quarantine steps while you wait for your results.

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, and they are new symptoms that you do not usually have in daily life, then you may have COVID-19 and you must follow the Home Isolation Steps, even if you are fully vaccinated.

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Home Isolation and Quarantine Guidance (revised 9/15/21)

PDF: | English | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese | Tagalog
 

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Home Isolation Steps: What should I do if I become positive or am told to isolate?

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are symptomatic and waiting for COVID-19 test results, you must follow the Home Isolation Steps to prevent the spread of disease. This requirement applies regardless of vaccination status.

Stay home until you have recovered and are not infectious.

  • Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home.
  • Monitor your symptoms closely and seek medical care if symptoms worsen. It is particularly important to call your doctor if your symptoms get worse and you are 60 years or older or have a condition such as heart, lung, or kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or a weakened immune system. You are at higher risk of getting more seriously ill.
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • If you have symptoms, you can be with others after:
    • 10 days since symptoms first appeared, AND
    • 24 hours with no fever (without fever-reducing medication), AND
    • Improvements of other symptoms
  • If you have no symptoms, you can be with others after:
    • 10 days have passed since your first positive test was collected

Close Contacts

  • If you have a test confirmation or doctor’s diagnosis of COVID-19, then everyone who you had close contact with from 48 hours before your symptoms began until your isolation period ends should follow the Home Quarantine Steps. Please share this page with them.
  • To request help in notifying your close contacts without revealing your identity to them, please call 408-970-2870.

What if you cannot separate yourself from others?

  • If you have COVID-19, anyone who continues to be in close contact with you when you are in isolation will need to extend their quarantine until 10 days from the day you finish isolating. This may last about 20 days.

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Home Quarantine Steps: What should I do if I find out that I’ve been in close contact with a case?

The applicable quarantine rules depend on whether you are fully vaccinated.  You are considered fully vaccinated if you have received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine

Note:  The vaccine must have been FDA-approved or authorized for emergency use by the FDA (e.g., Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) or the World Health Organization (e.g., AstraZenca/Oxford, Covishield, Sinopharm, Sinovac).

When quarantine is NOT required:

Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine after being exposed to a case if they meet ALL the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated;
  • Have not had any COVID-19 symptoms since the COVID-19 exposure;
  • Are not an inpatient or resident in a healthcare setting or facility.

Fully vaccinated individuals should get tested immediately and on day 5 after exposure (if identified as a close contact to a confirmed case of COVID-19), monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after exposure and follow instructions as below if symptoms develop.

Quarantine Exemption for Previous Infection: If an exposed person tested positive for COVID-19 before their new, recent exposure and it has been less than 3 months since they started having symptoms from their previous infection (or since their first positive COVID-19 test if asymptomatic), they do not need to quarantine, as long as they have not had any new symptoms since their recent exposure to someone with COVID-19.

When quarantine is still required:

  1. Symptomatic Unvaccinated or Partially Vaccinated Close Contacts

    Quarantine Period:
    • Without testing, quarantine can end after Day 10 from the date of last exposure AND at least 24 hours after fever resolution AND improvement in other symptoms, whichever is longer;
      OR
    • With testing, quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen collected on or after Day 5 from the date of last exposure is negative AND 24 hours or more after fever resolution AND improvement in other symptoms, whichever is longer.
  1. Asymptomatic Unvaccinated or Partially Vaccinated Close Contacts

    Quarantine Period:

    • Without testing, quarantine can end after Day 10 from the date of last exposure;
      OR
    • With testing, quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen collected on or after Day 5 from the date of last exposure is negative.

For All Unvaccinated and Partially Vaccinated Close Contacts (symptomatic and asymptomatic)

In addition to the above guidance:

  • Close contacts should continue monitoring for symptoms for a full 14 days.
  • If a close contact continues to be exposed to a case during their isolation, the Quarantine Period starts immediately and ends 10 days after case’s isolation period ends, or if above testing criteria are met, 7 days after the case’s isolation period ends.

Testing:

  1. All close contacts should be tested immediately if they develop symptoms.
  2. A non-household close contact (regardless of vaccination status) should test immediately AND on or after day 5 after last exposure to case.
  3. A household close contact (regardless of vaccination status) with ongoing exposure should be tested three times:
    • Immediately AND
    • 5 days after first exposure to case AND
    • 5 days after case completes their isolation period

 

  1. Symptomatic Fully Vaccinated Close Contacts

    Quarantine Period:

    • Without testing, quarantine can end after Day 10 from the date of last exposure AND at least 24 hours after fever resolution AND improvement in other symptoms, whichever is longer;
      OR
    • With testing, quarantine can end immediately if a diagnostic specimen collected while symptomatic is negative AND 24 hours or more after fever resolution AND improvement in other symptoms.

 

For All Fully Vaccinated Close Contacts (symptomatic and asymptomatic)

Testing:

  1. All close contacts should be tested immediately if they develop symptoms.
  2. A non-household close contact should test immediately AND on or after day 5 after last exposure to case.
  3. A household close contact (regardless of vaccination status) with ongoing exposure should be tested three times:
    • Immediately AND
    • 5 days after first exposure to case AND
    • 5 days after case completes their isolation period
  1. Quarantine Guidance for Healthcare Workers

What if you develop symptoms?

  • If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms you must follow the Home Isolation Steps, even if you are fully vaccinated.
  • Get tested as soon as possible.  (Visit the County’s “Free COVID-19 Testing Sites” webpage for more information.)​
  • Monitor your symptoms closely and seek medical care if your symptoms are severe or your symptoms worsen, especially if you are at a higher risk of serious illness. ​

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Do I need to quarantine after traveling?

The County’s Mandatory Directive on Travel and CDPH’s Travel Advisory have both been rescinded.  However, the County Health Officer still recommends that you follow the CDC’s guidance on domestic travel and international travel.

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If I have COVID-19, can I still breastfeed my child?

Breastfeeding has been shown to have many benefits to both infants and breastfeeding parents. However, because breastfeeding requires the parent and child to be less than 6 feet apart, if a parent has COVID-19, there is a significant risk of COVID-19 transmission from the parent to the infant.

The decision whether to breastfeed is a complex and personal one, and there are multiple options to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for the infant while continuing to breastfeed:

  • Consistently wear a face covering, perform frequent hand hygiene before and after breastfeeding, and reduce the total amount of time spent within 6 feet of the infant where possible.
  • Choose to pump and have another adult bottle-feed expressed breastmilk to the infant during the period the COVID+ parent is instructed to isolate. Performing frequent hand hygiene and following cleaning instructions for pump parts, bottles, and other feeding supplies may further reduce risk.
  • Pump to maintain lactation during the period the COVID+ parent is instructed to isolate, and have another adult bottle-feed formula to the infant (“pump and dump”).
  • Choose to stop breastfeeding during the isolation period to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission, even though it may not be possible to breastfeed afterwards.

Some additional considerations for breastfeeding when the parent has been diagnosed with COVID-19:

  • Infants and children generally have been shown to have milder illness when sick with COVID-19 and have the lowest risk of death of any age group.
  • There is NO evidence that breastmilk itself can transmit COVID-19.
  • Masks and face coverings have been shown to significantly reduce respiratory droplets.

Talk to a doctor, nurse, or lactation consultant if you have specific questions about your circumstances and breastfeeding during COVID-19 infection.

Note:  Pregnant people are strongly urged to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. The CDC and FDA have not identified any safety concerns for pregnant people who are vaccinated or for their babies, but unvaccinated pregnant people are at particularly high risk for severe COVID-19 illness.

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COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance for Healthcare Workers

For COVID-19 quarantine guidance relating to healthcare workers, please see the “Managing Exposures Among Healthcare Workers” Section of the County’s “Provider Responsibilities and Guidance” webpage.

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Returning to Work or School

If you have completed your isolation and quarantine period as told to you by the Public Health Department, you may no longer be considered contagious or at high risk for infection. The Public Health Department does not provide Return to Work or Work Excuse Letters for employees or employers or School Excuse Letters for students.  You may download and print the application letter below showing proof that you can return to work or school if you meet the criteria in the letter and that your employer or school should not request proof of a negative test.

Return to Work Letter (PDF):
| English | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese | Tagalog |

Employees are no longer considered contagious if they meet the criteria detailed in this Return to Work letter​​. The County of Santa Clara discourages employers from requiring a medical note or a negative test to return to work as long as the criteria detailed are met.

Return to School Letter (PDF) :
| English | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese​ | Tagalog
|

Students and staff are no longer considered contagious if they meet the criteria detailed in the Return to School Letter. For more information on guidance for school employees and students, see the Coronavirus and Education Programs webpage.

If your employer is requiring your return to work prior to the end of the Isolation guidance or Quarantine guidance provided by your health care provider and the County’s Public Health Department, please contact the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement’s free legal advice line at 1-866-870-7725 or visit www.sccfairworkplace.org to file a complaint.  Legal Advice Line attorneys are not County staff, and advice is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Tagalog.

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Isolation & Quarantine Support Program

Santa Clara County COVID-19 Support Team provides resources to County residents who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as contacts to a positive case to enable them to isolate or quarantine safely. For more information please visit our Isolation and Quarantine Support Program site.

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