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COVID-19

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Information for close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases

What does it mean to be a close contact of a COVID-19 case?

A close contact is anyone who had prolonged close contact with the individual while infectious. People are considered close contacts if they have had direct contact with bodily fluids of a person with COVID-19 or if they provide direct care for a person with COVID-19 without personal protective equipment (mask, face shield, gown and gloves).​

Should I get tested if I am a close contact?

Yes, since you have been told that you’re a close contact, Public Health recommends that you are tested for COVID-19. While you are waiting for your test results you are required to self-isolate. Refer to How to Self-Isolate for more information.

I am a close contact of a COVID-19 case. What should I do?

Because you are a close contact of a COVID-19 case you are required to isolate​ for 14 days from the time you were exposed. You must continue to self-isolate for the full 14 days even if you receive a negative test.

How do I get my results?

Your results can be found online at: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/ . Results may take 5-10 days to receive.

Do I still have to isolate for 14 days if my test comes back negative?

Yes. On the day you were tested, there may not have been enough virus in your body for the test to pick up. Isolating for a full 14 days makes sure that you won’t be able spread the virus if you do have it.

How do I self-isolate?

See directions here: How to Self-Isolate

What if the person who has COVID-19 shares the same house as me?

You can take these precautions: 

  • Choose a room in your home you can use to separate sick household members from healthy ones, if possible.
  • Choose a separate bathroom for sick individuals to use, if possible.
  • Plan to clean these rooms as needed when someone is sick.
  • Don’t share household items, like dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels and pillows without washing.
  • After using these, wash them very well with soap and water, place in the dishwasher for cleaning, or wash in the washing machine.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and counters.

The Self-Isolation Guide for Caregivers has more information.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and should I monitor myself for them?

You should do a self-assessment daily for symptoms of COVID-19: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/​.

If I’m a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, do my close contacts (e.g. my family, household members, friends I saw before self-isolation, etc.) need to isolate and get tested?

  • If you are a close contact of a case and don’t have any symptoms and haven’t had a positive COVID test, your close contacts do not need to isolate.
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID, it is recommended that your contacts isolate while you wait for your test results.
  • If you test positive, your close contacts will be legally required to isolate.

I live with someone who has been told they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, do I have to isolate and get tested?

  • If you are a close contact of a close contact of a case and don’t have any symptoms and haven’t had a positive COVID test, you do not need to isolate or get tested. 
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID, it is recommended you get tested and isolate while you are waiting for result​s.