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Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, whether through a PCR or rapid antigen test, is required to self-isolate immediately at home or in another suitable environment.
Anyone named as a close contact of someone testing positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days from the date of last exposure to the confirmed case unless they are fully vaccinated and do not have any symptoms. Fully-vaccinated individuals should self-monitor and seek testing at the first sign of symptoms.
When in self-isolation:
It is okay to be outside on your own property, including your backyard or balcony.
All travellers returning from international destinations, including the United States, are subject to federal government requirements that may include testing and quarantines.
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.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 has a duty to self-isolate immediately at home or in another suitable environment. If you are fully vaccinated, self-isolate for five days from the date of test or 24 hours since the individual's fever has resolved, without the aid of fever-reducing medications and all other symptoms are improving for at least 48 hours, whichever is later. If you are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated, self-isolate for 10 days from the date of test or 24 hours since the individual's fever has resolved, without the aid of fever-reducing medications and all other symptoms are improving for at least 48 hours, whichever is later.
Close contacts must isolate for 10 days from the date of last exposure to the confirmed case, unless they are fully vaccinated and do not have any symptoms.
Learn more about COVID-19 case and contact management.
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.
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 10 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.
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.
COVID-19 is a communicable disease reportable under the The Public Health Act, 1994. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate after receiving a positive test result, the length of time depending on their vaccination status, symptoms.
If you have received medical advice from HealthLine 811, your physician or a public health official to self-isolate, please follow their directions. If you have received a positive result from a rapid antigen test, follow the appropriate self-isolation requirements. As individuals, we are responsible for ensuring our actions do not put others at risk.
If you have received your results via PCR testing, 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 10 day period (ie. from a family member that became ill), the self-isolation should extend for 10 days from the last exposure.
We strongly recommend that everyone who is eligible receive both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series and the booster dose. If you are eligible but not fully vaccinated, you should get vaccinated once you are no longer self-isolating.
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