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Florida Department of Health Explains New COVID-19 Quarantine Options

By Gretchen Smith

December 10, 2020

Bunnell, Fla.— Effective Monday, December 7, the Florida Department of Health in Flagler, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties are following the Department of Health’s newly issued COVID-19 quarantine options for close contacts to COVID-19 cases. These options are adapted from the CDC’s updates released last Wednesday. Close contacts are those individuals who have been within six feet of an infected individual for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, regardless of mask usage.

Quarantine is used to separate someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 and may develop illness away from other people. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they have the virus. The CDC continues to recommend a 14-day quarantine when possible. The new options reduce the burden of COVID-19 quarantines against a small possibility of spreading the virus.

Quarantine can now be 10 days without testing or seven days after receiving a negative Molecular (PCR) test result taken on or after day six from exposure. The close contact must not have any symptoms of COVID-19 to stop quarantine. Exclusions for the new options include persons who are close contacts related to long-term care facilities, acute care facilities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

PCR results typically are available in three to five days from the test date. Some testing locations may require you to verbally request a PCR test.

After stopping quarantine, you should:

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure
  • If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider
  • Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19

The Healthy Together App is available for download on the App Store or Google Play and provides secure COVID-19 Molecular (PCR) test results. Once test results are received by the Department, a text message will be sent from the number 78549 to the phone number provided during the testing process. Recipients of the text message will be able to download Healthy Together and enter their date of birth and the phone number they provided during testing for authentication purposes to ensure the confidentiality of their results. Results will then be available in the app. App users will be provided with resources for protecting themselves and their close contacts and can choose to receive important COVID-19 updates from the Department.


To find the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19, please visit the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. For information and advisories from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), please visit the CDC COVID-19 website, this website is also available in Spanish and Creole. For more information about current travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State, please visit the travel advisory website.

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling1-866-779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours per day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

About the Florida Department of Health

The Department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

For information about the local health department, go to flagler.floridahealth.gov, call 386-437-7350, or visit 301 Dr. Carter Blvd. in Bunnell. You can also listen to our weekly talk radio show “Flagler Health Matters,” Saturdays at 11:30AM, airing on WNZF News Radio 94.9FM or streaming at https://www.flaglerbroadcasting.com/wnzf.