Who is a close contact?

If you were recently in contact with someone who is ill or who tested positive for COVID-19, you may be considered a close contact. You are a close contact if ALL the conditions below are met:

  • You were in contact with the ill person in the 48 hours before their symptoms started or the person tested positive, whichever came first
  • You were 2 meters away or less
  • Contact was at least 15 minutes (or multiple shorter lengths of time)
  • Both people were not wearing masks (medical or non-medical).

I am a close contact. Do I need to self-isolate?

All close contacts must take these precautions for 10 days from their last contact (unmasked and closer than 2 metres) with the ill person:

  • Keep wearing a well-fitting mask and follow public health measures. 
  • Avoid activities where mask removal would be necessary, including dining out and practicing/playing sports where masking cannot be maintained. 
  • Do not visit anyone who is at higher risk of illness, such as seniors. Note that some disabilities are invisible, and do not assume that others are low risk. 
  • Avoid entering highest risk settings. Highest risk settings are hospitals (including paramedic services), home and community care, congregate living, long term care and retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, correctional institutions, Provincial Demonstration schools, and hospital schools.) Please contact a specific organization if you have questions about their policy.

If you live with the person who is ill, you may be required to self-isolate. Household members are required to self-isolate for the same length of time as the person who has symptoms or tested positive except

If any of the following apply, you do not need to self-isolate, unless you have symptoms:

  • You are aged 18+ and have received a booster dose
  • You are under age 18 and are fully vaccinated
  • You have previously tested positive for COVID-19 and finished self-isolation in the past 90 days. 

If I am required to self-isolate, what do I need to do?

You and your household members should follow these instructions if you need to self-isolate. 

Do I need to get tested for COVID-19?

Only certain individuals now qualify for an Assessment Centre test, and there are a limited number of rapid antigen tests available. For more information about COVID-19 testing in Timiskaming, click here.

If I test negative for COVID-19, do I need to continue to self-isolate?

If you test negative, continue to follow self-isolation instructions. This is due to the virus’ incubation period. Close contacts can develop symptoms and become COVID-positive during self-isolation, even if they have previously tested negative. Following self-isolation requirements will prevent more people from becoming exposed to COVID-19.

Which symptoms should contacts self-monitor for?

Click here for a list of symptoms.

Who is a low-risk contact?

In general, a low-risk contact is someone who maintained a physical distance of at least two metres from the person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Other factors such as ventilation, masks and PPE, and exposure time are also considered.

Next steps for low-risk contacts

  • Self-monitor for 10 days.
  • If you develop symptoms, click here for details about what to do next. 

Resources

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