covid 19 virus

COVID-19 – Self-Isolation

Last Reviewed/Updated: October 14, 2021

Self-isolation means staying at home and avoiding situations where you could come in contact with others. Do not leave the house unless to seek medical attention or to get tested for COVID-19.

Click to learn more about:

Who is required to self-isolate and for how long?
Self-isolation After Travel
How long do I need to self-isolate for?
What to do during self-isolation?
Completing self-isolation

Other resources:

How to self-isolate and additional resources
What is self-isolation in American Sign Language

Who is required to self-isolate and for how long?

  • Self-isolation is mandatory if you:
    • Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
    • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are awaiting test results
    • Have tested positive for COVID-19
    • Have been notified by Public Health that you are a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and advised to self-isolate.
    • Are not fully vaccinated and are waiting for test results (after potential exposure)
  • If you are fully vaccinated, self-isolation is not mandatory unless you:
    • Have been instructed to self-isolate directly by public health
      • Fully vaccinated people may be required to isolate if they are immunocompromised or live in a long-term care facility.
    • Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19

Within Peterborough Region, there is additional instruction on the information:  Peterborough Public Health Section 22 Class Order – Mandatory self-isolation

Considerations for Children and Youth


Self-Isolation After Travel

  • Self-isolation is also mandatory for any returning international travelers, for 14 days from when you arrived in Canada, even if you receive a negative test result during this 14-day period.
  • Individuals that are fully vaccinated are able to submit proof to the ArriveCAN App. If approved by a border agent, self-isolation will not be required. More information can be found at Quarantine Act Hotline at 1-833-784-4397, or call Canada Border Services Agency at 1-800-461-9999
  • There are different travel restrictions and exemptions when moving between or within some provinces and territories. Always check what the restrictions of your destination are.

For more information on travel restrictions and exemptions:

How Long Do I Need to Self-Isolate For?

Residents of Peterborough City and County who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, will be contacted by Public Health to discuss the length of time you are required to self-isolate.

Use this Self Assessment Tool if:

  • you think you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • in the last 10 days you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • you have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 who has returned to Canada in the last 14 days

What to Do During SelfIsolation?

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 garden, rake leaves, 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

  • Connect with people on the phone or by using an electronic device. For some great ways to keep socially connected while at home see: Keeping Social Despite the Distance
  • It is also important to remain reachable by Public Health (eg. by Phone, email) while self-isolating

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

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. For more information on parenting during the pandemic Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for parents

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.

The COVID-19 pandemic can be a very stressful time. For resources to support your safety and mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit COVID-19 – Supports for Mental Health & Substance Use

Completing self-isolation

Once you have been discharged by Public Health, you are free to rejoin regular activities (work, school, other).  Please continue following public health measures to stay safe. This includes wearing a well-fitted mask, washing your hands often, and self-monitoring for symptoms. 

Self-isolation can be stressful, both for yourself and others around you. If you or someone you know are experiencing stigma associated with COVID-19, review these commonly asked questions: Addressing COVID-19 fear and Stigma