Contact: Sarah Granquist
Phone: (518) 891-4471

Notice to Public

February 3, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Quarantine

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.  Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, and monitor their health. Quarantine period lasts 10 days, if no COVID symptoms develop; at least 14 days if symptoms develop.

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 separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available).  Isolation period lasts 10 days as long as on day 10- symptoms have improved (if symptoms were present) and fever-free for 72 hours without fever-reducing medication and no new symptoms.

What are some examples of contact with a COVID-19 positive person that will require me to quarantine? 

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 10 minutes or more, with or without a face covering on.
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

I think I was exposed to a COVID-positive person, what should I do? 

If you think you were exposed to someone who has COVID-19, please self-quarantine until you know that person’s COVID-19 status.  If the person you were exposed to is positive for COVID-19, continue to self-quarantine for 10 days from the date of the exposure, and monitor yourself for symptoms. Contact your provider for advice, a note for your employer, and to set up COVID-19 testing.  If symptoms develop, make arrangements to get tested 72 hours after symptoms start.  If no symptoms develop, wait 5 to 7 days before being tested.

Important note: For contacts identified via contact tracing of confirmed cases, Public Health Contact Tracers will reach out to those individuals directly to place them on legal quarantine. 

What if my employer sends me home because I’m sick?

You might be asked to stay home from work if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.  Staying home from work and self-isolating when sick is an effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19.  While self-isolating, contact your health care provider to arrange for COVID-19 testing. 

Important note: while waiting for COVID-19 test results, Franklin County Public Health does not issue a note to your employer regarding your self-isolation status.  Contact your health care provider for a note regarding your COVID-19 symptoms to pass on to your employer. If you test positive for COVID-19, Franklin County Public Health will place you on legal isolation and, at that time, will issue a legal isolation order that you can share with your employer.

Symptoms of COVID can include any of the following:  fever, cough, trouble breathing, muscle aches, tiredness, headache, sore throat, runny nose, loss of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. 

What if my employer sends me home because I am a contact to a COVID-positive employee?

Go home immediately -make no stops along the way- and wait for a call from a Public Health COVID-19 Contact Tracer. Please answer your phone and regularly check incoming calls and voicemail. 

We all need to work together to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19 by

  • Letting people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Helping people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 get tested.
  • Asking people to isolate if they have COVID-19 or quarantine if they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19.

To ensure you have the care you need and the support to keep you and your family safe, you may be asked:

  • To confirm your date of birth, address, or other basic information. (A contact tracer will never ask for your Social Security number or credit card information.)
  • Discuss any symptoms you may have had, whether you were hospitalized, or any underlying health conditions that might put you at greater risk.
  • Details about your living situation so you can be informed on how to safely isolate or quarantine.

Your information is confidential. Your information will only be known to public health officials and the local health department.

How long will it take to be contacted by a Contact Tracer?

For contacts identified via contact tracing of confirmed cases, Public Health Contact Tracers will reach out to those individuals directly to place them on legal quarantine.  Please allow up to two days for a Contact Tracer to call.  They are working diligently to call all positives and their contacts as soon as possible. If you do not receive a call after two days, please call the Franklin County COVID hotline at  518 481-1111.

What are the current guidelines for quarantine?

The updated NYSDOH COVID-19 quarantine requirements, as of 12/26/2020,  can be found at

Consistent with recent CDC guidance, quarantine for individuals exposed to COVID-19 can end after ten days without a testing requirement if no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. (Please note: Once symptoms are reported, individuals are subject to a 14-day quarantine period.)

After a 10-day quarantine, without symptoms:

  • Individuals must continue daily symptom monitoring through Day 14;
  • Individuals must be counseled to continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14.
  • Individuals must be advised that if any symptoms develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.

These quarantine requirements are also applicable to travelers who are not essential workers and/or who did not complete the testing requirements described in Executive Order 205.2.

Guidance on how to quarantine can be found at


Do I have to quarantine after traveling out of state?

In November 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced guidelines allowing travelers to New York to “test out” of the mandatory 10-day quarantine for asymptomatic individuals. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont) are exempt from the travel advisory; however covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. The guidance also applies to any person who has traveled to CDC Levels 2 and higher Health Notice country under the COVID risk assessment.

For any traveler to New York State from a noncontiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 and higher country, the new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 10-day quarantine are below:

  • For travelers who were out-of-state for more than 24 hours:
    • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York.
    • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.
    • On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests comes back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.
  • For travelers who were out-of-state for less than 24 hours:
    • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.
    • However, the traveler must fill out our traveler form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after their arrival in New York.

The local health department must make contact with the state the traveler came from, to ensure contact tracing proceeds there as well. All travelers must continue to fill out our traveler form upon arrival into New York State to contribute to New York State’s robust contact tracing program.

The travel guidelines require all New Yorkers, as well as those visiting from out-of-state, to take personal responsibility for compliance in the best interest of public health and safety.

For general inquires contact the call the Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question.

To file a report of an individual failing to adhere to the quarantine pursuant to the travel guidelines click here or call 1-833-789-0470.

For more information on NYSDOH Interim Guidance for Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers Arriving in New York State Following Out-of-State Travel go to

 To view more COVID-19 related news, please visit our COVID-19 Guidance page.