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Have symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19?

Due to the spread of Omicron variant, the province has changed case and contact practices. This includes you telling your close contacts that you have symptoms or you have tested positive for COVID-19. Please read this entire page and follow the instructions.

Omicron is now the most dominant strain of COVID-19 in Ontario. Since this strain is very easy to get and spread to others, all cases in Ontario will be treated as potential Omicron cases.

If you tested positive on a Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT), you no longer need to book a PCR test to confirm your results. Directions are the same for those who test positive on a PCR, rapid molecular, or RAT test.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, most individuals do not need a COVID-19 test. If you are eligible for testing, get tested. If testing is not available, it is highly likely that you have a COVID-19 infection.

You must self-isolate immediately:

  • For at least 5 days (if fully vaccinated or under 12 years old) or 10 days (if 12 years of age or older and not fully vaccinated or immunocompromised) from your symptoms onset and until you have no fever and your symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms), whichever is longer in duration.
    • If self-isolation is complete after 5 days (as determined above), regardless of vaccination status or age, for a total of 10 days ( or 20 days for immunocompromised individuals) after symptom onset, you must:
      • Wear a mask in public settings (including schools and child care, unless under 2 years of age), physical distance and maintain other public health measures.
      • Avoid activities where mask removal would be necessary (for example, dining out)
      • Not visit anyone who is immunocompromised or at higher risk of illness (i.e seniors)
      • Not visit any highest-risk settings[1]
  • Self-isolation means you must:
    • Stay home
    • Only leave if it’s a medical emergency or if permitted by public health.
    • No visitors unless it’s essential (e.g., health care providers).
  • Self-isolation also means having no contact with the people in your household.
    • Isolate away from others in the home.
    • Use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible. If you share a bathroom, disinfect the areas you touch after each use.
    • Wear a mask when you leave your room and only enter common spaces when other household members are not around.
    • Eat meals away from others.
    • Disinfect the areas you touch.
    • Practice hand hygiene thoroughly and frequently.
  • If you work, volunteer, attend, or visit a highest-risk setting[1], you must avoid the highest-risk[1] setting for 10 days (or 20 days for immunocompromised individuals) from the day your symptoms started or your test date (if you don’t have any symptoms).
  • Contact Ontario Telehealth (1-866-797-0000) or your health care provider if you have any questions about your symptoms.
  • If you need immediate medical attention, for example, if you are having difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, can only speak in single words), severe chest pain (constant tightness or crushing sensation), feeling confused or unsure where you are, losing consciousness, do not wait to seek medical care. Call 911 or go to your local emergency department and notify them of your COVID-19 status. It is okay to break isolation to seek medical attention.
  • If you need social supports or community resources, please call/text 211.

Notify Your Household Contacts

  1. Tell your household contacts that they are a high risk contact and to visit our page Have you been exposed to COVID-19?

Notify Your Non-Household Close Contacts

  1. Calculate your Period of Communicability
    • Period of communicability is the time in which you are infectious and likely to spread the virus to others.
    • Your period of communicability began 48 hours before your first symptom appeared. If you have no symptoms, your period of communicability began 48 hours before you were tested. This lasts until the end of your isolation.
  2. Identify Close Contacts during the Period of Communicability
    • A high-risk or close contact is anyone you were less than two meters away from for at least 15 minutes, or multiple shorter lengths of time, without measures such as masking, distancing and/or use of personal protective equipment, in the 48 hours before your symptoms began or your positive test result, whichever came first, and until you started your self-isolation.
    • A close contact can be someone you shook hands with, hugged, or kissed, but could also be someone you were sitting near, as COVID-19 can be spread through droplets from someone coughing, sneezing, or talking.
    • Other close contacts may be family you do not live with, friends, or people you work with.
  3. Notify Close Contacts and Provide them Information
    • It is very important that you notify all of your close contacts that they have been exposed to COVID-19 and that the actions they take can protect themselves and their loved ones.
    • Your close contacts may be required to self-isolate for 5 or 10 days from their last contact with you.
    • Tell close contacts to visit Have you been exposed to COVID-19? for further information and instructions.
    • If you have the Covid Alert app, you can also notify other app users you’ve been near by going to the Test Results Website and following the instructions.
  4. Notify your Employer
    • Report your COVID-19 result to your employer or occupational health and safety department.
    • If you work, volunteer, attend or visit a highest-risk setting[1],
    • If you are not immunocompromised, you must avoid that setting for 10 days from the day your symptoms started or your test date (if you don't have any symptoms).
    • If you are immunocompromised, you must avoid that setting for 20 days from the day your symptoms started or your test date (if you don't have any symptoms).

Other COVID-19 Measures and Precautions

Following discharge from self-isolation, please continue to follow public health measures currently required when outside your home (work, schools, childcare, etc.) and continue taking precautions to protect you and your loved ones including:

  • getting vaccinated for COVID-19 when eligible,
  • practicing physical distancing of 2 metres,
  • wearing a face covering,
  • proper hand hygiene,
  • and avoiding social gatherings.

 

Notes

  1. Highest-risk settings include:
    • Hospitals (including complex continuing care facilities and paramedic services), home and community care workers and congregate living settings with medically and socially vulnerable individuals, including, but not limited to, Long-Term Care, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, correctional institutions, Provincial Demonstration Schools and hospital schools

       

    • Examples of immunocompromised include: cancer chemotherapy, untreated HIV infection with CD4 T lymphocyte count <200, combined primary immunodeficiency disorder, taking prednisone >20 mg/day (or equivalent) for more than 14 days and taking other immune suppressive medications. Factors such as advanced age, diabetes, and end-stage renal disease are generally not considered severe immune compromise impacting non-test based clearance.