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Guidance for individuals with COVID-19



I am positive

You have been diagnosed with COVID and will need to stay home

until meeting the CDC criteria to be released from isolation. Download and print your isolation guidance here.


  • Stay home for 5 days.

  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days (day 0 being the day your symptoms started), you can leave your house. However, if you have a fever continue to stay home until you are clear of it for 24 hours.

  • Continue to wear a mask (KN95 or better) around others for 5 additional days.

*Residents of correctional institutions or homeless shelters are still advised by CDC to follow a 10-day isolation period if they are positive for COVID-19. Guidance for healthcare workers can be found here.



I am a UM student and I tested positive.

Students who are positive should notify faculty that they will miss class and we suggest they notify any other individual they share a living space with (whether on or off campus). Students and parents can contact Curry Health Center with any questions at 406-243-2122.

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How do I properly isolate?

Isolation is used to separate people infected with

COVID-19 from those who are not infected. People who are

in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to

be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should:

· Avoid contact with other others.

· Monitor your symptoms daily.

· Stay in a specific “sick room” or area.

· Use a separate bathroom (if available).

· Don’t share personal household items such as cups, towels, and utensils.

· If you cannot separate from others in the home, wear a mask.

Isolation instructions


How long will I be infectious?


If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 5 days have passed since you had a positive viral test, but must stay masked for an additional 5 days.

If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance below.



Cases can be released at day 5 of isolation, but must stay masked for 5 more days if they meet the following criteria:

  • They have been afebrile (have no fever) for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and other symptoms have improved.

    • If individuals continue to have concerning symptoms, isolation should extend one day at a time until they meet criteria.

      • People hospitalized for Covid-19 related illness or immunocompromised should isolate for 20 days.

      • If you had symptoms but they resolved before testing you will be treated as an asymptomatic case and isolate for 5 days.

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Infectious timelines


When should I seek medical attention?

Call your health care provider for advice on treating your symptoms or for any symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Your doctor knows you best and what to do for you, especially if you have other health concerns like high blood pressure or breathing problems. Please wear a face covering and tell staff that you have COVID-19 so that they can take proper precautions.



COVID-19 therapeutics are available to eligible residents who test positive for COVID-19. Those especially vulnerable to COVID-19 should consult their physician ASAP if they test positive as therapeutics work best if taken within the first five days of symptom onset. Find a test-to-treat site near you.


· The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

staffs the Nurse First Line 24 hours a day, seven

days a week. Call 1-800-330-7847 to speak with a nurse.

· Missoula's Community Medical Center provides a Nurse-on-Call hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 406-327-4770 to speak with a nurse.

If you are a University of Montana student you can call Call Curry Health Center (406-243-2122) for an appointment.


Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately by calling 9-1-1:

· Trouble breathing

· Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

· New confusion

· Inability to wake or stay awake

· Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

medical attention


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After Being Exposed to COVID-19


Wear a mask as soon as you find out you were exposed

Start counting from Day 1

  • Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19.

  • Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure


  • Wear a high-quality mask or respirator (e.g., N95) any time you are around others inside your home or indoors in public.

  • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask, including travel and public transportation settings.

  • Take extra precautions if you will be around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

  • Watch for symptoms:

    • fever (100.4°F or greater)

    • cough

    • shortness of breath

    • other COVID-19 symptoms

  • If you develop symptoms isolate immediately:

    • get tested

    • stay home until you know the result

  • If your test result is positive, follow the isolation recommendations.

  • Get tested at least 5 full days after your last exposure. Test even if you don’t develop symptoms.

    • IF YOU TEST negative continue taking precautions through day 10.

      • Wear a high-quality mask when around others at home and indoors in public

      • You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.

    • IF YOU TEST positive isolate immediately.

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Will the health department monitor me?

Per CDC recommendations, MCCHD has discontinued universal case investigation and will only focus on vulnerable populations. Once you test positive and your result is received by the Health Department you may receive a text message from 406-308-1916 allowing you to identify as a vulnerable population. If you tested positive and have a landline and wish to self-identify as an at-risk population please call 406-258-3896.  

Vulnerable populations include: those experiencing reinfections or hospitalizations, those living in congregate care facilities (long-term care, group home, jails, youth homes, etc.) and those who have died from COVID-19.

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