Effective Friday, September 17, a province-wide mandatory masking order will be implemented for all indoor public spaces. 

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Self-Isolation

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 may be required to self-isolate immediately at home or in another suitable environment for at least 10 days. People who are not fully vaccinated should self-isolate for 14 days as a precautionary approach if they have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 or in a location with a high risk of transmission.

Self-isolation means 

  • Do not go to work or school.
  • Do not go to public areas including places of worship, stores, shopping malls and restaurants.
  • Do not have visitors in your home.
  • Cancel or reschedule non-urgent appointments. Where possible, arrange virtual appointments.
  • Do not take public transit.
  • Ask family/friends to drop off food or use delivery services.

Self-isolation means staying at home and separate from others in the household who are not fully vaccinated, if you have symptoms of fever and cough, even if they are mild. Stay and sleep in a room away from others and use a separate bathroom, if possible.

It is OK to be outside on your own property, including your backyard or balcony.

All travellers returning from international destinations are subject to federal government requirements that may include testing and quarantines. 

Information on When To Self-Isolate and How to Self-Isolate is available for download and printing.

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1. What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is an important way of preventing COVID-19 transmission. It means staying at home and avoiding situations where there is a potential to spread the infection to others.

If you need to attend an urgent medical/dental appointment, wear a mask while you are out and let the clinic know you are on self-isolation prior to arrival. Attend the appointment and return home with no stops in between.

Self-Monitoring vs. Self-Isolation

Ce que vous devez savoir sur l’autosurveillance et l’auto-isolement

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2. How long do I have to self-isolate for COVID-19?

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 has a duty to self-isolate immediately at home or in another suitable environment for at least 10 days.  Anyone identified by public health as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 may be required to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of having been exposed.

Learn more about COVID-19 case and contact management.
 
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3. How do I self-isolate

  • If you have not already received advice from to your local public health office on self-isolation, you can call HealthLine 811 to receive advice about self-isolating.
  • Stay at home and avoid contact with others, including the members of your household as best as you are able.
  • Call HealthLine 811 if you develop symptoms.
Learn more about Coping in Self-Isolation.
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4. How do I avoid contact with others in my home?

Household members should stay in another home or place of residence if possible, especially if they have a compromised immune system or chronic health conditions. If you are sharing your home, stay and sleep in a room away from others and use a separate bathroom if you can.

If an ill person is sharing accommodations with someone vulnerable to infection – those with suppressed immune systems or chronic illness, pregnant women, infants and adults over 65 – relocation is advised to reduce the risk of severe illness for the vulnerable person.

If a person with symptoms is self-isolating in shared living accommodations such as a dorm room at a university, they should be temporarily accommodated elsewhere or have roommates and family members temporarily relocate. In cases where there may be several people with symptoms awaiting test results, they may co-locate until results are confirmed. 

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5. How do I prepare for and cope with self-isolation?

Ensure the home is supplied with basic needs including food, medications (such as prescriptions), personal hygiene products, etc. to support a stay at home of up to 14 days. 

If you live alone or your household is self-isolating, ensure you have a someone who is able to check in on you and can provide an additional support or supplies you will require. Request that person to take all needed precautions to avoid infection.

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic can cause anxiety and worry in all of us. Whether you're coping with the loneliness of self-isolation, concerned about the health of your loved ones or worried about what the future may hold, there are mental health supports available to help you through this difficult time. 

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6. What if I need medical care while self-isolating?

Pay attention to your health and how you are feeling. You can call HealthLine 811 anytime to get advice about your symptoms and whether you should seek additional medical care.

If you are advised to seek primary health care services from your physician or at a clinic, call ahead and tell the clinic you are coming in and that you are self-isolating due to COVID-19. 

If it becomes harder to breathe, you cannot drink anything or you feel very unwell, go to an urgent care clinic or emergency department. 

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
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7. Are there exceptions to self-isolation?

Modified Self-Isolation

  • Applies to partially vaccinated people providing essential services. It allows them to continue working at approved locations and times with additional mitigations in place. These individuals must continue to self-isolate when they are not at work.

Fully Vaccinated Exemption from Self-Isolation

Unless ordered otherwise, anyone who is 14 days past their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at time of exposure and is asymptomatic does not need to self-isolate when named as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person.

Persons who continue to experience symptoms during self-isolation should continue to isolate under the advice of public health. Anyone who is unvaccinated or has received only one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine still has the duty to self-isolate as directed by public health if they are named as close contacts.

Public Health may advise fully vaccinated close contacts to isolate if they are considered at higher risk of serious illness or for increased transmission, or they live in settings at risk of outbreaks. Self-isolation of fully vaccinated close contacts may also be advised in any health care setting, including long-term and personal care homes, and congregate living settings like group homes and corrections facilities.

There may still be a requirement for health care workers and employees/residents at facilities including long-term and personal care homes, corrections facilities and other congregate living settings to be tested, if they are deemed close contacts of someone who is COVID-19 positive.

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8. What if someone isn't self-isolating when they should be?

COVID-19 is a communicable disease reportable under the The Public Health Act, 1994.  Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 10 days after receiving a positive test result.  

If you have received medical advice from HealthLine 811, your physician or a public health official to self-isolate, please follow their directions. As individuals, we are responsible for ensuring our actions do not put others at risk.
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9. What happens when my self-isolation period is over?

If you are a case, public health will follow up with you at the end of your self-isolation period. If you are self-isolating because you are a close contact, and you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, your risk of infecting others with COVID-19 is low and you can return to work or school. However, if you have had another exposure during the initial 14 day period (ie. from a family member that became ill), the self-isolation should extend for 14 days from the last exposure.

We strongly recommend that everyone who is eligible gets both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series. If you are eligible but not fully vaccinated, you should get vaccinated once you are no longer self-isolating.

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