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10/12/2020 17:00 EDT
10/09/2020 15:30 EDT

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Last updated on Monday, Oct 19 2020, 04:33:29 PM

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019.

For the latest information on Rhode Island specific COVID-19 numbers, see RIDOH's COVID-19 Disease Data webpage.

Medical Information

  • People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever or chills
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Runny nose or stuffy nose
    • Fatigue
    • Recent loss of taste or smell
    Children have similar symptoms to adults and generally have mild illness. This list is not all inclusive.
  • To prevent infection with COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends frequent handwashing with soap and warm water; coughing and sneezing into your elbow or a tissue; avoid touching mouth, nose, and eyes; and if you are sick, stay at home. MORE
  • As of April 1, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recommends that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should be tested. More on testing
  • People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should NOT go directly to a healthcare facility without calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency).

Quarantine and Isolation Information

  • Isolation and quarantine separate people who have or may have COVID-19 or another contagious disease from people who are not sick. Isolation is for people who are already sick whether or not they have symptoms. Quarantine is for people who are not sick, but have been exposed. More
  • Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 – either by a laboratory test or through symptom assessment by a healthcare provider – must isolate and stay in isolation until they meet the conditions described below. If you must isolate, that means:
    • Stay home.
    • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
    • Do not use public transportation.
    • Separate yourself from other people in your home. As much as possible, you should stay in a different room from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. more
  • Help for Rhode Islanders living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 is available. more

When can I end home isolation?

If you have COVID-19 and have symptoms, you can leave home after these three things have happened:

  • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Your symptoms have improved and
  • If you tested positive, at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared (20 days if you are immunocompromised*)

If you are not severely immunocompromised* and tested positive but never had symptoms, you must isolate for 10 days from the date of your first positive test.

*Review more detailed guidance on quarantine and isolation for different populations.

Except for rare situations, a test-based strategy is no longer recommended to decide when to end isolation.

If you need to quarantine that means:

  • Stay home.
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Do not use public transportation.
  • Stay away from other people, including people who live in your home.
  • People who live with you should monitor themselves for symptoms.
  • 10 Tips for at-Home Quarantine or Self-Monitoring

Who must quarantine due to high risk for developing COVID-19?

  • Anyone arriving from another country must quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Rhode Island.
  • Anyone coming to Rhode Island for a non-work-related purpose from a hot spot within the US must quarantine for 14 days from arrival in Rhode Island. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours before arriving in Rhode Island. more
  • Close contacts of someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days after the last time they had contact with the sick person. Even if you get a negative test result, you must still quarantine for 14 days. 
  • If you have been identified as a contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you may be contacted by RIDOH. RIDOH will conduct an interview and will provide guidance on whether you need to quarantine and what that quarantine entails.
  • Additional guidance for public health, public safety, social service providers, and healthcare workers.

General Rhode Island Information and Guidance RI Info

People with general questions about COVID-19 can call 401-222-8022.

Please see updated information from CDC (this may take a moment to load). For answers to frequently asked questions, please read the RIDOH/CDC fact sheet.

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