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INFORMATION FOR A CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19

Updated January 3, 2022

This information is for people who have been notified (by finding your results online, through a rapid antigen test, or by a call from a public health representative) that you have tested positive for COVID-19. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 but are not eligible for testing, please assume you have the virus and isolate as directed by the province.

1. Do not wait for a call from public health. 

Public health is not notified of positive results on rapid tests. While public health is notified of PCR test results, due to high case rates in the region, it may take more than 48 hours for a representative of public health to contact you. Please stay in isolation after you receive your positive result, of either type of test, and follow the instructions below.

2. To prevent spreading COVID-19 to others you must self isolate, as directed by the province.

If you are fully vaccinated and otherwise healthy, or are under 12 years old, you must isolate for five days from when your symptoms began or from the date of your test, whichever came first. You can end isolation after five days if your symptoms are improved for at least 24 hours (48 hours for GI symptoms), and all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed.

If you are not fully vaccinated or are immunocompromised, you must isolate for 10 days after your symptoms began or your positive test result, whichever came first.

The people you live with must also isolate at the same time as you, whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

Self-isolating means you must stay in your home/on your property and away from others. Do not go outside unless you have a private balcony or enclosed yard where you can avoid contact with others. You cannot go out for any reason unless you need emergency medical care. Someone else must deliver the things you need (groceries or medications). Self-isolation is a legal requirement under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. If you ignore this requirement, you may be charged and fined up to $5,000 per day for each day you are not in self-isolation. You have the right to challenge this order.  

More information about self-isolating is available at hpePublicHealth.ca/understanding-self-isolation.

3. You must notify your high-risk contacts.

  • Public health is not able to notify all identified high-risk contacts that they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
    • Public health will NOT be notifying your high-risk contacts. You are responsible for notifying them that they need to isolate and seek testing.
    • Please carefully consider all interactions you had with others during your contagious period. Your contagious period is the 48 hours (2 days) before you developed symptoms, until the time you started isolating.
  • If you do not have symptoms and had no known exposure to someone that has COVID-19, consider all interactions you had with others during the 48 hours (2 days) before you got tested, until the time you started isolating.
  • If you do not have symptoms and you had known exposure to someone that has COVID-19, consider all interactions you had with others starting 48 hours after your exposure.
  • Identify the people you had close contact with during your contagious period. These individuals are your high-risk contacts. Close contact is defined as:
    • Any face-to-face contact within 2 metres for a total of 15 minutes or longer (even if wearing a mask, and even if many small interactions add up to 15 minutes or more).
    • Any face-to-face or physical contact while one or both people were not wearing a mask and were within 2 metres for any length of time.
    • Received or provided any service or interaction without appropriate and consistent use of PPE (medical mask and eye protection) for any length of time.
  • IMPORTANT – Provide your high-risk contacts with a notification from public health. This notification provides more information about their isolation and testing requirements.

If you work or live in a high risk health care setting, including hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes, congregate living settings, you must notify your employer and isolate for 10 days from your exposure or symptom onset, or from your date of diagnosis. To ensure sufficient staffing levels, workers in these settings will have the opportunity to return to work early on day seven of their isolation, with a negative PCR test, or two negative rapid antigen tests on day six and seven.

For more information

HPEPH is working to respond to a high volume of cases in the region and is not able to respond individually to the large volume of calls being received. Please review this letter thoroughly, as well as:

If you need immediate medical assistance, please call Telehealth Ontario 24 hours a day at 1-866-797-0000. If you are experiencing concerning medical symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 911 and inform them that you have tested positive for COVID-19.

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Effective January 5, Ontario has moved to Modified Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopen, and students will temporarily pivot to remote learning.  A summary of current restrictions is available at covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

SYMPTOMS OR EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive, or you are a high risk contact.

COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

All eligible individuals must book an appointment for an immunization clinic at Ontario.ca/book-vaccine, or make an appointment at a participating local pharmacy. Please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations for location and registration information.

For information about vaccinations for children and youth, visit  hpePublicHealth.ca/covid-19-vaccines-youth.