COVID-19: Have Symptoms or Been Exposed

Exposed to COVID-19

If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should:

  • Find out how to get tested.
  • If you do not get tested, you must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days after your last contact with that person.
  • Monitor for symptoms related to COVID-19.
  • If you do get tested you must self-isolate while you wait for your results. Even if your test result is negative you must continue to self-isolate for the full 14 days.
  • If your test result is positive, you must stay home and self-isolate for 10 days if you have mild/moderate illness, or 20 days if you have severe illness or are immunocompromised.
  • If you develop symptoms and do not get tested, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the start of your symptoms. If you have mild/moderate illness, and 20 days if you have severe illnesses or are immunocompromised. OR isolate for 14 days from your last contact with the contact with COVID-19, whichever is longer.

Notified by COVID Alert App of Exposure to COVID-19

If you receive an alert from the COVID Alert app that you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19:

  • You need to self-isolate at home and book an appointment to get tested. If your test result is negative, you are no longer required to self-isolate unless advised by Public Health case and contact management that you are a close contact (in which case you must follow public health advice). Even though you received a negative test, you should still monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days from when you received notification through the app. If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and book an appointment to get re-tested.
  • If your test result is positive, you must stay home and self-isolate for 10 days if you have mild/moderate illness, or 20 days if you have severe illness or are immune compromised.
  • If your test result is positive, you can get a one-time key directly from the eHealthOntario test results website that you enter into the COVID Alert App to notify anyone who may have come within 2 metres of you. You may also call your local public health authority.
  • Read more on the COVID-19 alert app

Have symptoms of COVID-19

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, and you were not a close contact of someone with COVID-19, you must:

  • Find out how to get tested
  • Stay home and self-isolate for 10 days after your symptoms started or while awaiting your test results. After 10 days, you can stop isolating if you no longer have a fever and symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours.  If you are still unwell at 10 days, contact Telehealth or your health care provider.
  • You can stop isolating if you test negative for COVID-19 and symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours. School students, staff and visitors can return to school if they test negative for COVID-19 and symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours.
  • After you recover, it is still very important to continue with public health measures.  Continue to practice physical distancing and mask wearing.

Have COVID-19

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must:

  • If you have symptoms, stay home and self-isolate for 10 days after your symptoms started. After 10 days, you can stop isolating if you no longer have a fever and your symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours. If you are still unwell at 10 days, contact Telehealth or your health care provider.
  • If you do not have symptoms, stay home and isolate for 10 days from your test date. If symptoms develop, follow the instructions above and isolate for 10 days after your symptoms start 
  • If you were hospitalized in an intensive care unit (ICU) with severe COVID-19 illness, or have a severe immune compromise (e.g., cancer chemotherapy, untreated HIV infection), you will have to self-isolate for 20 days.
  • Instruct all people you live with to isolate for 14 days from the time you started having symptoms.
  • Hamilton Public Health will reach out to all residents who test positive, as well as their close contacts, by phone or text.   If you receive a text message, please do not delete it.  It is not a scam.  Below is how the text message will look when you receive it. If you have any questions about the text message you receive, call the COVID-19 Hotline at (905) 974-9848.
  • After you recover, it is still very important to continue with public health measures. Continue to practice physical distancing and mask wearing.

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