Who is a close contact?

  • In general, a close contact is someone who had close contact (less than 2 metres) with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Other factors such as ventilation, masks and PPE, and exposure time are also considered.
  • Close contacts may share common spaces.
  • The Timiskaming Health Unit helps the person with COVID-19 identify their contacts. If you are a close contact, THU will contact you and provide instructions. 
  • In general, if you have not been contacted by the Timiskaming Health Unit, then you are not a close contact. If you believe that you are a close contact who has been missed, please call the health unit at 705-647-4307, Ext. 7.

Additionally, consider downloading the COVID Alert app on your smart phone. It lets users know if they may have been exposed to the virus. It is free, easy and safe to use. The more people who download the app, the more effective it will be in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Find more details here

I’m NOT fully-vaccinated. If I am a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, what do I need to do?

If you are a close contact and you are not fully-vaccinated, you must self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. You and your household members must follow the instructions here. THU will contact you with details about your self-isolation.

THU will provide recommendations for testing. If you test negative, continue to self-isolate for 10 days. This is due to the virus’ incubation period. Close contacts can become symptomatic and COVID-positive on day 10, despite having previous negative COVID-19 test results. Following self-isolation requirements will prevent more people from becoming exposed to COVID-19.

I’m fully-vaccinated. If I am a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, what do I need to do?

Fully-vaccinated people who have close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should call the Health Unit right away. If you learn that you have been exposed to COVID-19 and you can’t reach us (for example, in the evening), please go home and self-isolate until you can get through to us. We will determine your risk and whether you need to self-isolate. Most of the time, fully-vaccinated people do not need to self-isolate, but this can depend on exposure. 

You will need to self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days. THU will provide recommendations for testing. If symptoms develop or if you test positive, you must self-isolate.

Which symptoms should contacts self-monitor for?

Contacts should self-monitor for additional symptoms, compared to the general population. Self-monitor for these symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop:

  • Fever, chills
  • Cough or barking cough (croup)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat, difficulty swallowing
  • Runny, stuffy, congested nose
  • Decrease or loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Headache, muscle aches, extreme tiredness
  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Pinkeye (for adults)
  • Falling down often (for older adults)

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. 

A Section 22 class order is currently in place for certain individuals. This order enables the Timiskaming Health Unit to enforce self-isolation requirements. To see who the order applies to, click here.

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

Resources

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