COVID-19 Self-Isolation Information

Last updated: 4 p.m. EST, March 1, 2021

Roadmap to Reopen: Ontario, including Huron Perth, is currently in Step 3 of Ontario's Roadmap to Reopen. During Step 3 of the Roadmap, we must all continue to follow the public health measures, advice and restrictions that are in place. 

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when you have been instructed to separate yourself from others, including those within your home, with the purpose of stopping the spread of the virus. If you are ill, you should be separated from others in your household to the greatest extent possible.

Who needs to self-isolate?

You should also self-isolate if:

  • You have instructed by Public Health to self-isolate 
  • You have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Someone in your household has symptoms of COVID-19
  • You think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 
  • If you have travelled anywhere outside of Canada (including the United States of America), you must self-isolate for 14 days.  Please see the Public Health Agency of Canada's latest instructions for travelers.

The self-isolation instructions vary for each person's situation. Which one of the following statements best describes your situation?

Do I have to self-isolate?

If you have been told to self-isolate by public health or a healthcare provider, you are required to do so. On February 26, 2021, the Huron Perth Medical Officer of Health issued an updated Class Order under Section 22 of Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act (PDF). The Order is a legal measure that authorizes the health unit to enforce individual compliance with public health instructions. The key focus of this Order is to ensure people who have been told to self-isolate by public health or a health care provider are doing so. Those who do not comply can be given a ticket under the Reopening Ontario Act with a fine of $750 per day. Individuals could be charged and fined up to $5,000 per day under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This Class Order takes effect at 12:01 Saturday, February 27 2021 and replaces the Order issued November 28, 2020.

I have recently travelled outside of Canada (including the United States of America)
  • The Government of Canada, under the Quarantine Act, requires ANY person entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days, whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or not. Refer to the latest travel restrictions.
I am sick and being sent for testing for COVID-19

I'm being tested due to having had close contact with a positive case of COVID-19

  • If you have had a high-risk exposure with a positive case (as notified by public health) or you believe you have been in contact with a positive case, please self-isolate for 14 days from date of exposure to the positive case, even if you receive a negative test result. 
  • If you develop ANY symptoms at all (even mild symptoms) while you await your results, self-isolate, take the provincial online assessment tool and follow the directions.
 I am not sick but being tested due to the nature of my work (essential worker, etc.)
  • If you have no symptoms and are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through your type of employment, including essential workers (e.g., health care workers, grocery store employees, food processing plants), you do not need to self-isolate while awaiting test results.
  • If you develop ANY symptoms at all (even mild symptoms) while you await your results, self-isolate, take the provincial online assessment tool and follow the directions.
I am not sick but a household member is sick and being sent for testing.
  • If you are not sick but a household member is sick and is being tested:
    • Everyone in your household must stay home if anyone has COVID-19 symptoms or is waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms.
    • Stay home until the person with symptoms receives a negative COVID-19 test result, or is cleared by public health.

I am not sick but a household member has been identified as a high-risk contact 

  • The high risk contact MUST self-isolate away from others in the home.
  • If isolation away from others in the home is not possible, those in contact with the individual MUST also self-isolate. 

  • Household members are required to stay home except for essential reasons for the duration of the person’s isolation period. Essential reasons include: attending work/school/childcare, essential errands such as groceries, attending medical appointments or picking up prescriptions.
  • If anyone in the household develops symptoms, everyone in the home MUST self-isolate until the individual with symptoms receives a negative COVID-19 test, or is provided with an alternative diagnosis from a healthcare provider. This means that household member can only leave the house to get tested or for medical emergencies. The high risk contact must continue to isolate. 

I am not sick and neither is my household member, but they are being tested due to the nature of their work (e.g. essential worker).

  • If you are not sick and neither is your household member/close contact, but they are being tested due to the nature of their work (e.g. essential worker):
    • You do not need to self-isolate while awaiting test results.
General Self Isolation Guidelines
  • Fact sheet: How to Self Isolate (Public Health Ontario)
  • Stay home:
    • Do not go to work, school or other public places.
    • Do not use public transportation, taxis or rideshares.
  •  Limit the number of visitors in your home:
    • Only have visitors who you must see and keep visits short.
    • Keep away from seniors and people with chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, lung problems, weakened immune system 
  • Avoid contact with others:
    • Stay in a separate room away from other people in your home as much as possible and use a separate bathroom if you have one.
    • Make sure that any shared rooms have good airflow (e.g., open windows). 
  • Keep distance:
    • If you are in a room with other people, keep a distance of at least two metres from others. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes:
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hand.
    • Throw used tissues in a lined wastebasket and wash your hands. Lining the wastebasket with a plastic bag makes waste disposal easier and safer.
    • Wash your hands after emptying the wastebasket. 
  • Wash your hands:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
    • Dry your hands with a paper towel, or with your own cloth towel that no one else shares.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. 
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth if you are symptomatic:
    • Wear a mask if you must leave your house to see a health care provider.
    • Wear a mask when you are within two metres of other people. 
  • Household cleaning and disinfection
    • Clean all “high-touch” areas such as counters, toilets, sink tap handles, tabletops, doorknobs, TV remotes, phones, and bedside tables daily using regular household cleaners.
    • Clean more often if surfaces become visibly soiled.
    • Clean any surfaces than may have blood, body fluids and/or secretions on them.
    • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning surfaces.
    • Use a diluted bleach solution (2 teaspoons of bleach to 4 cups of water) or household disinfectant.
    • Dishes and eating utensils should be cleaned with dish soap and hot water after each use.
    • Use of a dishwasher with a drying cycle also provides a sufficient level of cleaning. 
  • Laundry
    • Clothing and bedclothes can be cleaned using regular laundry soap and water and do not require separation from other household laundry.
    • If clothing or bedding have blood, body fluids and/or secretions, wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items, remove gloves and wash hands immediately afterwards. 
  • Waste management
    • All waste generated can be bagged in a regular plastic bag and disposed of in regular household waste.
I have not been instructed to self-isolate but would like to as a precaution.

We encourage all residents to follow all public heath measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as avoiding close contact with people not in your household, washing hands frequently, staying home when sick, and wearing a mask or face covering.

I have been told to self-monitor.

If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately. Advise them of your symptoms, travel history, or exposure risks.

 What if I see someone not practicing self-isolation?

If you have a concern about someone not self-isolating, contact Huron Perth Public Health or your local police force’s non-emergency line.

If you are concerned about a person's actions, we encourage you to have a kind and respectful conversation with that person and remind them about the current recommendations for stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our community. You can direct them to our website for the latest recommendations.

For further information:

See additional resources on our COVID-19 Response Resources page.