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What do I do if I test positive?

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate, even if you are fully vaccinated. The people you live with may be required to self-isolate with you. Click here for details about who must self-isolate. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should also tell your workplace that you are ill.

How long must I self-isolate? 

 

 

 

Fully vaccinated or under the age of 12? Self-isolate for 5 days from the start of your symptoms or your positive test, whichever came first. After 5 days, only leave self-isolation if you have no fever and your symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting).

You must take additional precautions until day 10 from the start of your symptoms or your positive test, whichever came first: 

  • Keep wearing a well-fitted 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 are not fully vaccinated and you are aged 12+, or if you are immunocompromised, you must self-isolate. Self-isolate for 10 days from the start of your symptoms or your positive test, whichever came first. After 10 days, only leave self-isolation if you have no fever and your symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting). 

If you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and you have recovered, click here for instructions about what to do if you develop symptoms again.

Do the people who live with me also need 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 with some exceptions

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. 

Additionally, everyone you live with 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-fitted 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. 

Do I need to notify my contacts? How do I do this?

Yes. People who test positive for COVID-19 now need to notify their close contacts. A close contact is anyone who was in contact with a positive COVID-19 individual and was two meters away or less for at least 15 minutes (or multiple shorter lengths of time), when both people were not wearing masks. Contact must have taken place in the 48 hours before symptoms started or the person tested positive, whichever came first. For more information, click here

These are good resources to share with your close contacts to help them determine what to do next:

If I get COVID-19, is there a medication that I can take?

Most people who get COVID-19 can recover at home without treatment. People who are sick enough to go to hospital will be given medications to help them recover. For people who are at higher risk of serious illness, medications are available that can help prevent them from needing to be cared for in hospital.

Medications to treat COVID-19 are for people who are at higher risk of getting seriously ill. That’s because the research on these medications was generally done on people who were at higher risk of serious illness. If you have COVID-19, speak to your healthcare provider right away to discuss whether you are eligible and make a plan about how to quickly access these medications if you become ill. It’s important to begin treatment within 5 days of symptom onset for the best effect. You can also visit the COVID-19 treatment screener to know whether you are eligible. Note that the eligibility criteria for medications differs from the eligibility criteria for COVID-19 testing at Assessment Centres. More information, including locations in Timiskaming where treatment is available, is found on the Government of Ontario website.

If I am self-isolating and I need urgent health care, what should I do?

You can always seek urgent health care, even if you are self-isolating. Please notify the health care provider if you have tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, or are a close contact. 

Will THU or the provincial contact tracers notify me if I test positive?

If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you do not need to report your result to THU, and you will not receive further instructions from contact tracers. Follow the self-isolation instructions above. If you have questions, call the Provincial Testing and Isolation Information Line at 1-888-777-0730 or call THU’s COVID-19 line at 705-647-4305, Ext. 7. 

If you are eligible for a COVID-19 test at an Assessment Centre, the Assessment Centre or a health care worker will notify you if your test is positive. Please note that this call may not come from a 705 area code. You can also verify your results online on the COVID-19 results portal. Click here for testing eligibility criteria.

Do I need to get a negative test before I leave self-isolation?

No, you do not need to get a negative test to leave self-isolation or to return to work or school. Follow the self-isolation instructions above. People who have COVID-19 can continue to test positive for several months, even though they are no longer contagious. 

If you have recovered from COVID-19 and you develop symptoms again within 90 days, you do not need to be tested for COVID-19 again. Click here for instructions about what to do. 

What benefits are available if I miss work due to self-isolation?

The Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit is available to people who are self-isolating for reasons related to COVID-19.  

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