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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
I tested positive. What is next?

Information for People with COVID-19 and Contacts of People with COVID-19

Last updated: December 14, 2020

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you got tested for COVID-19 and receive a call from a public health case manager, it is important that you provide them with all of the information that they ask for. You will not get in trouble for disclosing details and all the information you provide will be kept confidential. In Canada, Public Health is bound by privacy legislation. Ontario has a law called the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPPA). This law means that any person who has access to personal health information must keep it private. This information will not be shared with any other parties – including immigration authorities.

If Public Health calls you to discuss COVID-19, they may ask you how many people live in your home, and how much money you make. The case manager will ask what your first language is and what you identify your race to be. This information is not collected to get you in trouble. This information is kept private and used to better understand who needs help in our communities. It also helps us know how we can help you.

What happens if Public Health tells me I am a high-risk contact of a person with COVID- 19?

If you have received a letter or phone call from Public Health that says you are a high-risk contact, this means you have been in close contact with someone who has the virus. To keep yourself and others safe, you will need to follow the instructions as described by your case manager. This will include isolating from others in your household, not going to work or school and staying in isolation until it has been 14 days since your last exposure. This information is kept private and not shared with anyone else.

What happens if Public Health tells me I am a low-risk contact of a person with COVID- 19?

If Public Health tells you that you are a low risk contact, you do not need to self-isolate. You need to pay attention for any symptoms of COVID-19, and to get tested if you become sick.

I need to provide my employer with a sick note. Where can I get one?

If you are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, you can provide this sick note to your employer.

What if there is not enough space for me to isolate at home?

When possible, you will be asked to self isolate at home. If you need to share bathrooms or kitchens with other people, you will be asked to clean shared items in these spaces. Public Health may also be able to supply you with a medical mask to help you isolate from others in your home. In unusual situations, we may be able to work with social services to help find somewhere else for you to isolate.

How much does it cost to get tested?

Getting tested for COVID-19 is free. Public Health will get in contact with you if your results are positive. However, if you are a feeling sick, or are told that you are a high-risk contact, you need to self isolate as directed, even after your negative test results.

Will I lose my job?

It is against the law for your employer to fire you or punish you for not coming to work if you are self-isolating due to COVID-19.

How can I pay my bills?

There are different options to help you pay for things you need while you are isolating. The federal government offers benefits to people who are self-isolating due to COVID-19 or if they are caregiving for someone who needs support.

What if I am in Canada and my visa is expired, or I am undocumented?

Public Health will not ask you about your immigration status. We will work with you to develop a plan to self-isolate regardless of your status. Even if you tell public health your immigration status, this information will not be shared with anyone else – including the police.

Will I get in trouble if I state I have a large number of high-risk close contacts?

No. Public Health understands there are circumstances where people do are not able to limit close contacts. We also recognize that accidents happen. Regardless of your situation, we are here to help you.

What if I need medical attention while I am sick?

If you need medical attention, you can still get medical care. Requirements for self isolation allow you to go the hospital in an emergency. It is important that you do not go to a family doctor’s office. If you are experiencing severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain or have serious concern for your health, please go the nearest emergency department and tell them if you are close contact for known positive for COVID-19.

What happens if I do not tell public health who I have been in close contact with?

We need to know who you have been in contact with to help keep you, and those you care about, safe. Telling us who you have been in contact with helps us understand if these people might be at risk of COVID-19, and helps us stop the spread of the virus. We are so grateful for the work being done by newcomers who have continued essential work through the pandemic. We appreciate all that you have done so far to keep our community safe, and we at Public Health will work hard to keep you safe.

What if I need immigration related support?

Call Quinte Immigration Services and connect with one of their settlement. They can work with you to review what benefits you are eligible to receive from the government. They may also be able to connect you to other immigration related resources. You can reach them at 613-968-7723.

Resources:

COVID-19 Information for Newcomers (English)

COVID-19 Information for Newcomers (Punjabi)

COVID-19 Information for Newcomers (Hindi)

Resources and Support for High Risk Contacts and Cases

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Province of Ontario has Declared a Second Provincial Emergency to Address COVID-19 Crisis and Save Lives.  Read more.

Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the provincial government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.

Owner/operators of a businesses, workplaces and/or other community organizations who are unsure of how to adjust operations for COVID-19 are encouraged to visit sector specific guidance regarding provincial lockdown measures at Ontario.ca or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. If you are unable to find an answer to your questions or need further guidance, please fill out this web form.

During the provincewide shutdown, no indoor social gatherings are permitted, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone and single parents may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household. Outdoor gatherings must be limited to 5 individuals, and proper physical distancing must be maintained.

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.