Isolation Protocol for Individuals Testing Positive for COVID-19

Albany County Department of Health (ACDOH) will contact you as soon as possible to further assess your positive test result and provide additional guidance.

Isolate for at least a full 10 days and until each of the following conditions are met

  • At least 10 days have passed since onset of symptoms or if you’ve never had symptoms, at least 10 days have passed since your test was taken (specimen collection date); AND
  • The most recent 72 hours have been fever free without fever-reducing medications; AND
  • Symptoms are generally improving.

During isolation, follow these guidelines to protect your family and friends

  • Inform all household members and close contacts of your isolation status and their need to quarantine for 14 days since last date of contact with you while you were infectious. (See quarantine protocol).
      1. All individuals living in your household are considered close contacts.
      2. Identify other close contacts that have been within six feet of you (with or without a mask – masks reduce but do not remove the risk of transmission) for a total of 10 minutes or more during the time that the virus could be spread to them. This is known as the infectious period.
      3. Infectious period starts two days before onset of symptoms (or for those without symptoms, two days before testing was done) and continues for the next 10 full days after onset/specimen collection.

Examples to help guide your decisions

      • If you never have symptoms: you are considered infectious the two days before your take your test on 11/3 through 10 days after your test date. Your infectious period will be from 11/1 to 11/13. You are unlikely to be contagious the morning of 11/14.
      • If you have symptoms: you are considered infectious the two days before your symptoms start on 12/1 through 10 days after. Your infectious period will be from 11/29 to 12/11. You are unlikely to be contagious the morning of 12/12. (Test date is not relevant in this situation.)

Follow these guidelines to protect our community

  • Remain at your home for the duration of the isolation period except to get medical care. When getting medical care, drive by yourself if possible and wear a mask. Do not use public transportation.
  • Do not attend work or school outside your home. Do not visit enclosed public spaces (grocery stores, drugstores, department stores, shopping malls, theaters, religious services, community centers) or attend any social gatherings.
  • Non-household members/visitors are not permitted in your living quarters. Separate yourself from other members of your household to the extent possible. This ideally means you should remain in a room apart from others, have a separate bathroom, and be served meals apart from family members. For more information, use this CDC page.
  • Have someone else take care of your pets if possible.
  • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items. If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. Clean and disinfect clothes hampers. If possible, consider using a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered. Use this CDC page for more information.
  • You can walk outside your house on your own property, but do not come within six feet of neighbors or other members of the public and you MUST wear a mask that snuggly covers your nose and chin. If you are living in a dwelling with multiple families, avoid using common stairways or elevators to access the outside. Likewise, you need to refrain from walking in your neighborhood.
  • Notify the ACDOH of any needed care or services such as food, supplies, medicine or other supports that you require.
  • You, or your legal guardian, may contact the ACDOH for any questions or concerns with this protocol.
  • A representative from the ACDOH will call you in the coming days to discuss your illness in more detail. When contacted, please cooperate fully with the monitoring and health assessment performed by the ACDOH, the State of New York Health Department, and/or its agents and representatives.

We would like to thank you for your cooperation and efforts to protect the health of your family, friends and community and ask that you continue to exercise care and caution.


For additional assistance contact:

  • Albany County Department of Health for isolation guidance clarification or concerns related to maintaining quarantine
  • Your health care provider for health related guidance.
  • 911 if you experience any of the following symptoms and inform them that you are a confirmed COVID-19 case:
              • Trouble breathing
              • Constant pain or pressure in your chest
              • Bluish lips or face
              • Sudden confusion

      For assistance receiving food contact: