Illness or Exposure

Easy to Read information about COVID-19 (CDC)

all 911 and seek immediate medical attention if you show any emergency warning signs such as trouble breathing, pain/pressure in the chest, inability to stay awake, new confusion or bluish lips/face.*

Symptoms of COVID-19

May appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain/body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
COVID-19 has similarities to influenza (flu) - learn more about similarities and differences here. You can also visit

Next Steps

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and have reason to believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact your health care provider for instructions. While not a substitute for professional medical guidance, you can also use a screening tool like the CDC Self-Checker for what next steps to take.

Important: As soon as you begin experiencing symptoms, discontinue going out in public and isolate from others in your home as much as possible (see below). If you must be around others, wear a mask, keep at least six feet of distance and complete your task or errand as quickly as possible.

Seek Testing

You may be able to receive a test through your primary care provider. There are also many other options available for testing in and around Clay County, plus at-home tests. For more information, please visit our Testing page.

Do not go directly to the emergency room or the health department for testing.

Remember, once you have received a test, you must continue to isolate. If not, not only do you risk spreading the disease to others but your results may not be accurate (if you were negative when the test was taken but become infected in the meantime).

Did you take an at-home COVID test and test positive? You can report your result to the health department by filling out this form. Participation is completely voluntary but helps us to get a more accurate picture of case numbers in our area.

Isolation & Quarantine Guidance

COVID-19 Quarantine Isolation Visual Guide
C19 IQ Guidelines QR - Spanish

Isolate If You Are Sick

Isolation is used to separate people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from people who are not infected.

If you are sick with COVID-19, you need to stay home until it’s safe to be around others again. Please visit CDC's Isolation webpage for detailed guidance.

Ending Isolation

If you have COVID-19 and have symptoms and were directed to care for yourself at home, you may stop isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least 5 days* have passed since the day symptoms began or you were tested (Day 0) and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since having no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms have improved.

You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10).

If you test positive for COVID-19 but never develop COVID-19 symptoms, you may stop isolation after 5 days from the date of your first positive test for COVID-19. However, you must continue to wear a face mask for the next 5 days when around others.

When to Quarantine After Exposure

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. This person is often referred to as a "close contact."

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.

Please visit CDC's Quarantine webpage for detailed guidance.

Unvaccinated or Not Up to Date

If you are unvaccinated OR you got your last dose more than six months (Pfizer/Moderna) or two months (J&J) ago and don't have booster.

No Symptoms

If you have no symptoms of COVID-19, you can choose to end quarantine after 5 days. HOWEVER, you must continue to wear a mask around others and monitor your symptoms for the full 10 days.

If a 5-day quarantine is not possible, an exposed person MUST wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure. 

With Symptoms

If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19. CDC guidance says to get a COVID-19 test on day 5 after exposure, if possible.

Fully vaccinated + your booster?

No Symptoms

If you show no symptoms, you do not need to quarantine. Instead, wear a mask around others for 10 days after exposure as a precaution.

With Symptoms

If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19. CDC guidance says to get a COVID-19 test on day 5 after exposure, if possible.


Monoclonal Antibody Treatment

Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses. mAb s directly neutralize the COVID-19 virus and are intended to prevent progression of disease.

At this time, individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and vulnerable individuals over the age of 12 who have had a significant exposure to COVID-19 may be eligible to receive treatment. Learn more here.

Update December 2021: hospitals are reporting low supplies and staffing to provide this treatment at this time.

Coronavirus Self-Checker

While Waiting for Results


What Your Test Results Mean


How do we measure the presence of variants like Delta and Omicron?

Missouri is participating in the national surveillance for COVID-19 variants of concern. Our state’s public health laboratory is sequencing a limited amount of samples for presence of genetic material specific to each variant. See the latest data.

Since February 2021, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services has been collaborating with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the University of Missouri to test wastewater samples for the presence of COVID-19variants in our communities. Learn more about Missouri’s Sewershed Surveillance Project.