COVID-19: What to do if Symptomatic, Positive or Exposed



Last updated: August 31, 2022

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Close Contacts and Household Members

  • If you’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms, find out what to do next. 
  • You can also take this self-assessment.

If you have COVID-19 Symptoms or Test Positive

Symptoms include:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • decreased or loss of taste or smell
  • two or more of:
    • runny nose or nasal congestion
    • headache
    • extreme fatigue
    • sore throat
    • muscle aches or joint pain
    • gastrointestinal symptoms (such as vomiting or diarrhea)

Other symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19 include:

  • abdominal pain
  • pink eye
  • decrease or loss of appetite

Use of RATs for Individuals with COVID-19 Symptoms

Isolation after Testing Negative with an RAT

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, testing negative on one RAT test does not mean you don't have COVID-19.
  • However, if you have COVID-19 symptoms and get negative test results on two consecutive RATs, separated by 24-48 hours, it's less likely you have COVID-19. Self-isolate until you have no fever, and your symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms). After the two negative RATs, your household members may also end their isolation, as long as they do not have symptoms. 

Isolation after Testing Positive with an RAT

  • If you test positive on a RAT, it's very likely that you have COVID-19. You and your household members are required to self-isolate, as per self-isolation directions for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and their household members.
  • Positive RATs do NOT need to be confirmed by PCR/rapid molecular test and do not need to be reported to the Health Unit.

Notify your close contacts.

close contact is anyone you were less than two metres away from for at least 15 minutes, or multiple shorter lengths of time, without personal protective equipment in the 48 hours before your symptoms began or your positive test result, whichever came first. Close contacts in schools should follow the school-based guidance. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive on a COVID-19 test, tell your close contacts they have been exposed.

How to Self-Isolate

 Learn how to self-isolate.

More Information

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