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COVID-19: How to Notify Your Contacts


This resource from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, reviews the steps to notifying your contacts if you've been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Covid 19 virus design in bright blue. A deadly virus outbreak from China or often called the corona virus.

How to Notify Your Contacts

  • Determining Your Close Contacts

    Close Contact: Anyone who was close to you (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) starting 2 days before your symptoms began. This is when you were contagious. If you have no symptoms, start 2 days before you were tested for COVID.

    Who are your close contacts? Tips:

    • Walk yourself through each day, noting any possible close contacts. Shorter periods that add up to 15 minutes total also count.
    • Remember, the people who live with you or visited your home are close contacts.
    • Co-workers and friends are important to notify. Otherwise, they may not know they were exposed.
  • Decide if You Want to Be Anonymous

    Once you have your list of close contacts, they need to be told they were exposed to COVID-19. Do you want to remain anonymous?

    • If you do not wish to remain anonymous, reach out to your close contact by text, email, or call with the information in Step 3.
    • If you do wish to remain anonymous, use this online tool to send your contacts a message. Got to “TellYourContacts.org
      and select “and leave your name off”.
  • Send Stay at Home Instructions

    Tell your contacts to stay home, get tested, and monitor for symptoms. Send them this guide with instructions and resources. Your close contacts need information about staying at home for quarantine from the CDC.

    The Philadelphia Department of Public Health also has detailed Home Care Instructions For COVID-19 and local help.
    This link tells contacts how long to stay home in quarantine.

    • Make sure all of your contacts know the date they were close to you. They need this to know how long to stay home in

How to Stay Safe After a COVID-19 Exposure

  • Stay Home

    You should stay home to quarantine for 14 days after your last exposure. This means you should not leave your home for any
    reason (including work and social gatherings), except to be tested. This guide can help you determine what date you can end quarantine. Use this COVID-19 symptom checker to check your symptoms.

    Be alert—if you develop symptoms or test positive, you should isolate. Please stay away from others, especially those who are older or have underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity or cancer. If you live with the person who exposed you, make sure both of you wear masks at home

  • Get Tested

    Get tested for COVID-19 seven days after you were exposed. You should wait at least 7 days because getting tested too early could produce inaccurate results.

    Contact your healthcare provider or use our testing site map to locate a site near you. If you develop symptoms after an exposure to COVID-19, you should act as if you have COVID-19 and continue to stay home and isolate (except to be tested).

  • Call With Questions

    Do you have questions? We’re here to answer them at 215-685-5488 or covid@phila.gov.

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This resource created by City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health