COVID-19: Isolation and Quarantine Resources

What does isolation and quarantine mean?

Isolation is a containment strategy used for people who test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms like a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and who need to stay away from others in order to avoid infecting them. Having to self-isolate, means you should stay in your home and away from others, except to get medical care, in order to protect and avoid infecting housemates or people in our community. If at home with others, use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible. If that is not an option, try to stay at least 6 feet apart from each other when you're sleeping and interacting.

It is currently recommended you discontinue self-isolation when:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (3 days) AND
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, you no longer have a cough) AND
  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

Quarantine is a containment strategy for people who are feeling well (not currently showing symptoms) but have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19. A close contact is currently defined by the Washington State Department of Health as being within 6 feet of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more. Having to self-quarantine means remaining at home and limiting your interactions with others for 14 days, or until symptoms develop.

It is currently recommended you discontinue self-quarantine 14 days after exposure if you do not develop any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms or you've been a close contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case, Seattle and King County recommend you get tested right away. Even if your test result is negative, you should still self-quarantine for 14 days in case you develop symptoms after getting tested. How to register for free testing in Seattle.

Not sure if you need to isolate or quarantine? No problem! Call your provider or King County's COVID-19 call center at (206) 477-3977. The phone line is open every day 8am to 10pm for medical questions and help accessing Isolation and Quarantine (I&Q) Centers. You can learn more about I&Q Centers below.

What if I cannot isolate or quarantine in my home?

Not everyone can safely self-isolate or self-quarantine in their own home, and not everyone has a home in order to do so. If eligible, you may be able to access King County Isolation and Quarantine (I&Q) Centers to support you during temporary periods of isolation and quarantine. These I&Q Centers have been deployed throughout King County to provide a safe, clean, andcomfortable place to stay for people who can't safely self-quarantine or isolate in their own home, or don't have a home. I&Q Centers make it easier for you to get through a very difficult situation and also slow down the spread of COVID-19.

At I&Q Centers you can expect services such as:

  • Meals that honor dietary requirements
  • Regular medical check-ins
  • 24/7 phone and language assistance
  • Mental health support
  • Snacks and toiletries
  • A safe space with clean linens & laundry services
  • Cable TV or portable tablet
  • 24/7 Security
  • Transportation to & from the location

If you or someone you know needs access to I&Q Centers established by King County, please visit the following webpage: King County Isolation and Quarantine Facilities Information.

Local resources to help you stay home during isolation and quarantine:

During temporary periods of quarantine, you will need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. This means you should stay home from work if you can and avoid going to places like the grocery store or pharmacy. If you need supplies, try using a grocery delivery service, have your medications mailed to you, or have a friend, neighbor, or household member pick them up and deliver them safely. If you must go out, please follow the required order by Washington State Department of Health for wearing cloth face coverings in public, and remain at least 6 feet away from others. By doing so, you will help slow the spread and transmission of COVID-19 in our community.

Below you will find a list of programs and delivery services available to you in the Seattle area to support you in safely and effectively remaining home.

The following is a list of programs that offer some form of assistance for food options, such as providing free meals and no charge delivery options. Some of the following resources offer access to food through in-person pick up options. However, if you are needing to isolate or quarantine, please avoid in-person pick up options and have items delivered instead. If for any reason delivery options are not possible, have a friend, neighbor, or household member pick them up and deliver them safely.

Food Banks

Seattle Area Food Map

The Seattle Human Services Department developed this interactive Food Resource Map that shows the locations of food banks, free meals, and student to-go meal pick-ups. You can access the visual map for an interactive list of food resources. There is also a screen reader accessible version, where you can enter your address or use your device location to search for the food resources near you.

Food Support for Young People

Food Support for Seattle Public School Students

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) is distributing lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday at 26 school sites throughout the city.  These 26 sites will become central locations for family and student resource distribution. Lunch distribution sites can be found on the SPS Student Meals page. SPS is also providing student meals by bus Monday through Friday throughout Seattle. Please refer to this SPS bus route map and schedule to determine the timing of the route or the school closest to your family. The Student Meals by Bus map and schedule can also be found on the SPS Student Meals page. All SPS students can participate in the meal programs.

Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT)

Pandemic-EBT is a new and temporary food benefit to help families buy groceries for their children because schools have been closed due to COVID-19. Any child can receive P-EBT, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. The only requirement is a child must be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. Learn more about this program and how to receive this benefit at the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Food Support for Older People

Senior Meal Programs and Meals on Wheels

Seattle Human Services Department's Aging and Disability Services division funds year-round meals at senior centers and other venues that have been suspended due to COVID-19. However, sack lunches and food boxes are available in many areas. Home-delivered meals (e.g., Meals on Wheels) are an option for individuals age 60+ who are unable to leave their homes. Contact Community Living Connections at 1-844-348-5464 (toll-free) to get connected to services in Seattle and King County.

Food Support from Local Organizations

Emergency Feeding Program

The Emergency Feeding Program provides pre-packaged food in bags for people experiencing food insecurity. They also have a drive-thru pick up program for people ages 55 and older. Sign up for the Emergency Feeding Program.

Food Box Home Delivery

Are you in need of food and unable to leave your home? United Way of King County, Food Lifeline, City of Seattle, and Metro Access are offering free home delivery of emergency food boxes across Seattle, North King County, and East King County during the COVID-19 pandemic.  are actively working to expand this program to South King County. Request a food box online or call us toll-free at (833) 540-0800, Mondays to Fridays from 11 AM - 4 PM.

Highland Park (West Seattle) Weekend Bagged Lunches

The Highland Park Improvement Club (HPIC) is offering meals for neighborhood residents who need meals, especially homebound individuals. They are serving 70 bag lunches a day, 5 days a week (and a weekend bag for Fridays). Learn more about HPIC and how to volunteer.

Northwest Harvest SODO Community Market

Northwest Harvest SODO Community Market is offering pre-bagged produce, prepared foods, and shelf-stable groceries right at the door. There is no need to enter the facility. This is open to anyone of ANY AGE. SODO Community Market is located in Seattle's SODO neighborhood at 1915 4th Ave S, near the corner of 4th Ave S & S Holgate StMore location and transportation information can be found here.

South King County & Eastside COVID-19 Coronavirus Mutual Aid Group

The grassroots coalition South King County & Eastside COVID-19 Coronavirus Mutual Aid Group is coordinating grocery drop-offs for "survivors, sick & disabled, immunocompromised, undocumented, black, queer, indigenous, and or people of color." Fill out this online form to request to have groceries dropped off.

Food Support from Government Agencies

Basic Food or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Basic Food is Washington State's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Due to additional emergency funding from the federal government, all existing and new Basic Food participants will receive the maximum benefit for their household size in March, April, and May. This will temporarily increase the monthly assistance for households that did not already qualify for the maximum benefit. You can read more about this emergency supplemental funding at the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, (which includes FAQs in multiple languages).You can apply for Basic Food Assistance online, or by downloading a translated application here, or by calling (877) 501-2233.

Changes to Basic Food Work Eligibility Requirements for Some Adults

Some people who qualify for Basic Food assistance have to meet work or work training requirements. This applies to people between the ages of 18 and 49 who are able to work and do not have any children or others as dependents. Federal funding systems refer to this as "able bodied adults without dependents" or ABAWD. If your assistance previously ended for not meeting work requirements, you can reapply for food assistance online. If you are a current ABAWD client, you will not be penalized for not meeting the 80-hour work requirements for March, April, and May 2020.§  Learn more about ABAWD and these changes at the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

City of Seattle Emergency Food Vouchers for Seattle Families

The City of Seattle is continuing to collaborate with local nonprofit organizations to distribute a series of $20 vouchers to families who may be experiencing financial hardship during the coronavirus outbreak. Eligible families will receive two mailers of 20 vouchers (a total of $400 a month) over the next two months. Vouchers may be used to purchase items from any Washington Safeway store, with the exception of alcohol, tobacco, fuel, or lottery tickets. Households are not able to sign-up for this program. For more information, check out this Emergency Food Vouchers Frequently Asked Questions page.  

Use SNAP EBT Cards to Order Grocery Delivery

Some local stores and online retailers are now accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards as a form of payment for grocery delivery. Washington SNAP EBT funds can now be used to purchase groceries for delivery through Amazon FreshAmazon Pantry, and Amazon Grocery. You can register your SNAP EBT card online. You can learn more about the program and how to sign up by visiting this webpage: SNAP frequently asked questions.

Other Resources

Seattle Area Free Food Resources

This Google Document, which is labeled as a "Living Document" lists organizations and programs offering free food access is updated daily by a community member.

As part of your temporary period of isolation and quarantine, you should remain home as best as you can. This includes choosing food sources that can be safely delivered to your home.

Find a Nearby Open Restaurant for Delivery

 As part of Seattle's #SupportPugetSoundSmallBiz campaign, the City of Seattle has relaunched an interactive map that can help residents in King, Pierce, and Snohomish County find small businesses providing delivery in their neighborhood. You can search for open small businesses in your neighborhood, filter for "Delivery Only" options, and navigate directly to a business' website or third-party delivery service page. There is also a screen reader accessible version, where you can enter your address or use your device location to search for local restaurants with delivery options near you.Is your favorite restaurant not listed? Try navigating directly to the restaurant website or call them to find out if they are currently offering delivery options.

Local Pharmacies and Grocery Stores for Medication Delivery

During temporary periods of isolation and quarantine, you should avoid going to the pharmacy. Most major pharmacies are now offering free delivery of prescriptions during the crisis. Visit your pharmacy website or call your local pharmacy to find more information on available services. Many grocery stores also offer pharmacy services. Call ahead to find out how to set up payment and delivery services, or to schedule refills.

The following resources can help you find more information on health care and telehealth options near you. If you do not already have health care, there are local community health centers and/or other organizations that can provide health care options. If you already have a local provider, call ahead to see if they offer telehealth options for those who are unable to leave their home.

Free and Charitable Clinics

Please call first before visiting any of the locations listed in these external pages.

The Washington Healthcare Access Alliance has this list of free and charitable clinics in Washington state, organized by county: WA Healthcare Access Alliance Free Clinics.

Public Health - Seattle & King County (PHSKC) has developed a list of community health centers serving King County. These Community Health Centers are not operated by PHSKC: Community Health Centers in King County.

National Tribal COVID-19 Response

The National Indian Health Board has this healthcare and educational resource page to help Tribes respond to COVID-19.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Trans People Need to Know

The National Center for Transgender Equality published this resource specifically for transgender people and their families.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been stressful on many people in our community. The following resources are for helping you or your loved ones to cope with this stress in a healthy way.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

If you or a loved one is in distress or need access to prevention and crisis resources call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Crisis Connections

Crisis Connections runs a toll-free, 24-hour helpline at 1-866-427-4747 to connect people in physical, emotional, and financial crisis to services that will be of assistance. They help to reduce immediate emotional distress and defuse crises for individuals, families, and community members and reduce the immediate risk of violence to one's self and others. The helpline also increases access for mental and emotional support services.

NAMI Washington Helpline Resources

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Seattle operates a mental health referral and information helpline (call 206-783-9264 or text 206-207-7765) to connect callers to the support and resources that they need. NOTE: This helpline is not a crisis line, as they are not equipped to assist you with crisis intervention. Learn more about NAMI Seattle  and find a list of resources here.

WA Warm Line

Run by the organization Crisis Connection, the WA Warm Line is a confidential peer support line for those experiencing anxiety, loneliness, etc. They are available: Mondays - Fridays from 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM and weekends from 12:30 PM - 9:00 PM.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC has a helpful webpage for how to cope with stress from the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find healthy ways to take care of your mental health and more by visiting CDC Coping with Stress.

When your child's sick, you're their nurturer, playmate, and live-in nurse all wrapped up into one person. Though usually mild in kids, COVID-19 can be serious for some adults, and that means it's especially important that you protect your own health as well when caring for your child.

Public Health Seattle & King County (PHSKC) has put together a list of steps you can take to care for your sick child in a healthy and safe way that minimizes your own risk of infection. Visit the PHSKC webpage for parents and guardians here

Having to remain home and away from others during periods of isolation and quarantine can feel lonely. During these times, it's important you still maintain social connections to care for your mental health. Virtual communication and connection through online activities, social media, or by phone, can help you feel less lonely and isolated. The following resources include activities and events you can participate in virtually, from the safety of your home.

Seattle Together

Seattle Together is a citywide initiative to support, uplift, and celebrate the enormous goodwill, generosity, and empathy that has come from our Seattle community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also a platform for combating social isolation...providing ideas, resources, and tools for connecting neighbors to one another, to their communities, and to arts and culture. See a list of virtual events and gatherings on the Seattle Together Website.

Seattle Center Arts at Home

Seattle Center's Arts at Home is a portal of virtual resources offered by resident art organizations. Through the portal, you can view online, virtual and livestream resources, events, performances, and activities offered by the local organizations residing within Seattle Center. Browse these events and activities at the the Seattle Center "Arts at Home" page.

Effective June 26, a statewide order requires individuals to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces such as stores, offices and restaurants. The order also requires face coverings outdoors when you can't stay 6 feet apart from others. To learn more about the order please visit Washington State's webpage about face masks or cloth face coverings.

Seattle Protects

Seattle Protects is a marketplace for cloth face coverings for Seattleites during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can learn more about how you can access free or low-cost masks here.