LifeCare Public Health follows guidance set forth by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Center For Disease Control (CDC) when it comes to Covid-19. LifeCare receives questions daily through this pandemic and below are answers to those questions. As always, if you have additional concerns, please contact LifeCare Public Health at 463-3211.


What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation separates sick people with COVID-19 from people who are not sick.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19 to see if they become sick. 

Who needs to isolate? 

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home and isolate. They should not go to work, school, or any other place outside the home. They should stay home until all three of these things are true: 

1. They feel better. Their cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better.
2. It has been 10 days since they first felt sick.
3. They have had no fever for the last 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers. 

How do you isolate or quarantine in your own home? (For timeline, see graphic) 

Although isolation and quarantine are different, you should follow the same guidelines to separate from others in your own home.
• Stay away from other people in your home. As much as possible, stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom, if available.
• Wear a facemask if you need to be around other people, and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Wash hands thoroughly afterward.
• Avoid sharing personal household items. Do not share food, dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
• Clean all frequently touched surfaces in your home daily, including door knobs, light switches, or faucets. • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. 

Who needs to quarantine? 

Quarantine is for people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 because they were in close contact with someone with COVID-19. These people may or may not get sick. People in quarantine should stay home for 14 days, limit their contact with other people, and monitor themselves closely for symptoms of COVID-19. Most people who are going to get sick will get sick within 2-14 days of exposure. 

• People who were within 6 feet of someone contagious with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, including   people who live in the same household.
• People who had direct physical or intimate contact (e.g., kissing, hugging, other types of physical contact) with a person who is sick with COVID-19.
• People who provide care for a person who is sick with COVID-19 at home.
• People with direct exposure to respiratory droplets from a person contagious with COVID-19.
• People who have traveled outside of Minnesota where quarantine is recommended by EO 20-99 (e.g., quarantine recommended for travel other than crossing borders for work, study, medical care, or personal safety and security). See Frequently Asked Questions about Executive Order 20-99 ( for more information.

HOW LONG DO I NEED TO QUARANTINE? (for timeline, see graphic)

A 14-day quarantine remains the CDC’s recommendation for the greatest protection against spreading the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2. However, CDC has reviewed data and modeled the impact of a number of options for shortening quarantine. Because people can develop COVID-19 up to 14 days after an exposure, any quarantine shorter than 14 days might lead to increased spread of the virus in the community.
If you have specific quarantine or isolation questions, please call LifeCare Public Health for clarification if you can adopt the 10 or 7 day periods. LIFECARE PUBLIC HEALTH: 218.463.3211


If I tested positive for COVID and my family member tested negative when does my family member need to start quarantine? 

If you are unable to fully isolate yourself from your family members, their 14 day quarantine period would begin when your isolation period ends. 

How does LifeCare public health determine who is a close contact? 

Close contact is defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes. Public Health case investigation looks back 48 hours prior to when the positive person’s symptoms began OR 48 hours prior to a positive test result if a person does not have symptoms. 

If my college student tests positive for COVID while at college, will it show up as a case for Roseau County? 

No, this case will be counted in the state and/or county that they reside in during college unless they are isolating and living at home in Roseau County. 

When should I get tested if I was exposed to someone with COVID-19? 

It is recommended to wait at least 5-7 days after exposure unless you develop symptoms sooner. If you develop symptoms before this, get tested. 

Are positive cases being counted more than once? 

No, cases are only counted once in our Roseau County totals. 

My child was exposed to someone with COVID-19 and tested negative 7 days after the exposure, are they okay to go back to school? 

NO, they need to finish the 14 day quarantine period prior to going back to school. Please contact your school to notify them of exposure and the school will help you determine the safe return date.

Will LifeCare Public Health be contacting me if I am deemed a “close contact” of a positive person? 

Answer: No
LifeCare Public Health does NOT contact every close contact of a positive case. They rely on each individual and the honor system to help distribute guidance on quarantine to each of their close contacts. Each positive case is sent a follow up e-mail/letter with information that they are to distribute to each of their close contacts. There are special circumstances where Public Health will call the close contacts if a person is unable, unwilling, or not comfortable making those calls themselves. 

My Covid test is negative and I was in contact with someone with COVID-19, am I free of Covid? 

Answer: NO
If you receive a negative test result but were tested because you were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you still need to stay home (quarantine). This is because you still could become sick with COVID-19. It can take up to two weeks for a person who was exposed to COVID-19 to become sick, so if you were tested early after being exposed, the test may not have detected the virus yet.  Refer to the “Who Needs to Quarantine” & “How Long Do I Need to Quarantine” questions.

Printable COVID-19 Q+A

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