covid 19 virus

COVID-19 – Self-Isolation

Last reviewed/revised: December 30, 2020, 8:28 am

When Do I Need to Self-Isolate?

You MUST self-isolate per Public Health Class Order, Section 22 if:

  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • You have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 (ie. You are a high-risk contact).
  • You have COVID-19 symptoms, have been tested for COVID-19, and are awaiting the results of the test.

Check to see if you have COVID-19 symptoms here: Self-Assessment Tool

Self-isolation means to STAY HOME except to have a COVID-19 test. For more details about what Self-Isolation means: Self-Isolation Fact Sheet

To schedule a COVID-19 test, visit COVID-19 Testing

However, if your symptoms are very severe (shortness of breath, chest pain, confusion) call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency room.

If you need someone to talk to about mental health concerns, please call the Four County Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 days a week) at 705-745-6484 or toll-free at 1-866-996-0991. If you (or your child) are experiencing thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, please call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency room.  For additional supports and services see here: COVID-19 and Mental Health

How Long Do I Need to Self-Isolate For?

  • If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must self-isolate for the full period of time discussed with you by Public Health.
  • If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (ie. You are a high-risk contact), you must self-isolate for a full 14 days from the time of your last exposure. Even if you test negative during this time period, you must self-isolate for the full 14 days.
  • If you were tested because you have COVID-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate until you receive a negative test result and your symptoms are improving for 24 hours.

What to Do During Self-Isolation?

Ensure Good Hand Washing

  • Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a towel that no one else will share. Clean highly touched surfaces often. Open a window in shared rooms to have good airflow. See more guidance here: How to Self-Isolate

Have Food Delivered and Eat as Well as You Can

Keep Physically Active

  • If feeling well enough, try to keep active. Do chores around the house or try a home workout program. You can do things like shovel snow, but you must remain on your own property. See here for more ideas about how to keep active: Physical Activity at Home

Stay Connected With People

Maintain a Daily Routine, Including Going to Bed and Getting Up Around the Same Time Each Day

Seek Financial Support While Off Work

  • Check out the Financial Relief Navigator which helps Canadians access critical emergency benefits and financial relief from governments, financial institutions, phone companies, and internet providers.
  • The Peterborough Community Legal Centre has developed a COVID-19 Financial Relief Chart which outlines various benefits available for families, seniors, students, and other vulnerable groups.
  • The Federal Benefits Tool will assist you with finding the financial benefits you need to fit your current situation.

Support Children Who are Self-Isolating

  • Children can have extra needs when self-isolating as they may not fully understand why they need to stay home. Try to keep their daily routine as consistent as possible. See here for COVID-19 Resources for Parents

Set Time Limits for Social Media and the News

  • While it is important to stay-informed of current information related to COVID-19, a constant stream of social media feeds and news alerts can make you feel anxious or stressed. Take breaks and only look at updates at certain times of the day.
  • With so much information in the media right now, it can also be difficult to separate fact from fiction. Only use trustworthy sites to get your information, such as:

Take the Time to Do Things You Enjoy

  • Try hobbies you don’t always have time to do. Listen to music, take a class online, complete jobs around the house – Take advantage of the time and do things for you!

If You Use Substances Such as Alcohol, Cannabis, or Other Substances Monitor Your Use.

If you experience any stigma due to self-isolation, please refer people to this webpage. COVID-19 is a Global Pandemic that Affects Us All and You are Doing Your Part to Stop the Spread!

  •  Once you have completed your self-isolation period (see here to learn when your isolation period ends), you are free to rejoin regular activities (work, school, other). Like everyone else, continue to maintain at least 2m distances, wear a well-fitted mask, wash your hands often, and self-monitor for symptoms.