COVID-19 Self-Isolation Information

Last updated: 12 p.m. EST, June 19, 2020

We recognize that it can be challenging to keep up with the latest recommendations and instructions on COVID-19, including self-isolation. Please check here for the latest information from Huron Perth Public Health on self-isolation.

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?

At this time, the recommendations  and directions are as follows.

Even if you do not have symptoms, self-isolate if: 

  • You are over the age of 70 and/or immunocompromised
  • You have COVID-19 OR you have been instructed by public health or your healthcare provider to self-isolate
  • You are a close contact, live with, provide care for, or spend extensive time with someone who has:
    • Tested positive for COVID-19, OR is suspected to have COVID-19 (waiting for results), OR who has respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) that started within 14 days of travel outside of Canada.

How to self-isolate

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

I have recently travelled outside of Canada (including the United States of America)
 I am over 70 years of age and/or immunocompromised
  • The province of Ontario advises persons over 70 years of age and individuals who are immunocompromised to self isolate.
  • If you need to get supplies for your household, ask someone who is not in self-isolation to get your supplies for you or find out about home delivery options. If neither of those options are available, and you are not sick nor have any symptoms, please go get supplies during off-peak hours and remain two metres (six feet) away from others. 
  • If you are not sick, you can still go outside to take a walk or walk your dog. We recommend that while outside you make sure to maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from others.
I am sick and being sent for testing for COVID-19
  • Self isolate until cleared by Huron Perth Public Health
  • Follow the self isolation instructions from Public Health Agency of Canada: How to Isolate at Home with COVID-19
  • Follow other general self isolation guidelines 
  • Advise your close contacts (those you live with, provide care for, or spend extensive time with) to self-isolate so that in the event you are positive, they have decreased the risk of community spread.
  • If you develop ANY symptoms at all (even mild symptoms) while you await your results, self-isolate and notify your family doctor or Huron Perth Public Health if you do not have a primary care provider.

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 and notify your family doctor or Huron Perth Public Health if you do not have a primary care provider.
 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 and notify your family doctor or Huron Perth Public Health if you do not have a primary care provider.
I am not sick but a household member/close contact is sick and being sent for testing.
  • If you are not sick, but a household member/close contact is sick and being sent for testing:
    • Self-isolate at home and to your property for 14 days from last known contact with the person, self monitor for symptoms and follow the guidance from Huron Perth Public Health
    • If you need to get supplies for your household, please ask someone who is not in self-isolation to get your supplies for you or inquire about home-delivery options. 
    • Follow other general self isolation guidelines 
    • If you develop ANY symptoms at all (even mild symptoms), self-isolate and notify your family doctor or Huron Perth Public Health if you do not have a primary care provider.

I am not sick but a household member/close contact has had a high-risk exposure with a positive case, and is being tested.

  • If you are not sick but a household member/close contact has had a high-risk exposure with a positive case, and is being tested:
    • You do not need to self-isolate, but you should monitor yourself for symptoms.
    • If you develop ANY symptoms at all (even mild symptoms), self-isolate and notify your family doctor or Huron Perth Public Health if you do not have a primary care provider.

I am not sick and neither is my household member/close contact, 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.

I am not sick and I am a household contact of a healthcare worker who is not sick but is being tested for COVID-19. 

  • You can continue to work and do not need to self isolate at home because you are at no additional risk given that the healthcare worker is completing all the required measures for working safely at their facility (hospital, long-term care home, etc.), such as wearing the appropriate PPE, self-monitoring for symptoms, and going through daily active screening. 

I am not sick, but I live with someone who has developed COVID-19 symptoms 

  • The sick household member should complete the COVID-19 self-assessment tool. If a healthcare provider or public health assesses that the sick household member has probable COVID-19, that household member must self-isolate in the home away from other household members and not go outside.

  • Household members who are not sick must also self-isolate (stay at home and not work) and not go off of their property for 14 days from last close contact with the sick household member.

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 practice physical distancing and practice good hand hygiene to stop the spread of germs.
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?

As of March 26, an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. There are a few exceptions, please see Public Health Agency of Canada's latest instructions for travellers.

If you have a concern about people who are not self-isolating when returning from affected areas, contact your local police force.

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.