Guidance for High Risk Contacts and Household Members

A High Risk Contact (HRC) or Close Contact is an individual who has had a high risk exposure to a person who has
tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Public Health follows up with high risk contacts to advise testing and isolation
in an effort to stop transmission of the virus. Vaccination is an important way to protect people from COVID-19.

High Risk Contact Symptoms NO Symptoms

Fully Vaccinated:
A fully vaccinated individual is someone who 14 or more days
ago received their second dose of a two dose COVID-19 vaccine or their first dose of a one-dose COVID-19.

Previously COVID-19 positive:
Previously COVID-19 positive (initial positive result ≤ 90 days ago) AND were cleared from self-isolation by Public Health.
 

You must self-isolate until a negative COVID-19 test result is received and you do not have a fever, symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours and gastrointestinal (GI) (nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain) symptoms have been improving for at least 48 hours.
  • Household members who are not fully vaccinated should stay at home until the HRC receives a negative COVID-19 test result.
Exception - household members that were previously COVID-19 positive (initial positive result ≤ 90 days ago) AND were cleared from self-isolation by Public Health are not required to stay at home.
  • Household members who are fully vaccinated are not required to stay at home until the symptomatic individual tests negative, unless directed by Public Health.

You and your household members are not required to isolate, unless directed by Public Health. It is strongly recommended that you still get tested.

In certain circumstances (e.g., resident of a Long Term Care or Retirement Home, inpatients of health care settings, variant of concern, and immune-compromised), Public Health may require a fully vaccinated individual with no symptoms to self-isolate for 10 days from their last exposure. Asymptomatic individuals who are fully vaccinated with high risk exposures must report their exposure to their employer and follow any restrictions from work.

Not Vaccinated or
Partially
Vaccinated

You must self-isolate for 10 days from your last exposure, and get tested. A negative test does not end your self-isolation early.

  • Household members who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated, should stay at home until the HRC receives a negative COVID-19 test result and then may leave the home for essentials.

Exception - household members that were previously COVID-19 positive (initial positive result ≤ 90 days ago) AND were cleared from self-isolation by Public Health are not required to stay at home.

  • Household members who are fully vaccinated, are not required to stay at home until the symptomatic individual tests negative, unless directed by Public Health.
You must isolate at home for 10 days from your last exposure and get tested. A negative test does not end your self-isolation early.
  • Household members who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated, are required to stay at home except for essentials.

Exception - household members that were previously COVID-19 positive (initial positive result ≤ 90 days ago) AND were cleared from self-isolation by Public Health are not required to stay at home.

  • Household members who are fully vaccinated are not required to stay at home, unless directed by Public Health.

Testing and Isolation for High Risk Contacts and their Households:

Testing:

  • All high-risk contacts should be tested as soon as possible (regardless of vaccination status) after contact with an individual with COVID-19, or as directed by Public Health. We strongly recommend that high risk contacts be tested again on or after day 7 from exposure if the first test was completed before day 7.
  • If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and go for re-testing as soon as possible.

Monitor for symptoms:

  • High Risk Contacts and household members should monitor for symptoms carefully. Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms can include headache, fatigue, runny nose or nasal congestion, a sore throat, an upset stomach or a lack of appetite. If symptoms develop, get tested.

Follow these directions if you do not have to isolate:

  • Maintain masking and physical distancing outside of the home and self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days from last exposure.
  • Report your exposure to your employer and follow their policy and procedures as specified by your manager and/or occupational health.
  • If you develop new or worsening symptoms, immediately self-isolate and get tested.

Follow these directions if you do have to isolate:

Stay home

  • Do not go outside, unless on to a private balcony or private enclosed yard where you can avoid close contact with others.
  • Do not use public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.
  • Shop online or have a friend or family member pick up supplies for you.

Avoid contact with others

  • No visitors unless essential (e.g., care providers).
  • Stay away from seniors and people with chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, lung problems, and immune deficiency).
  • Stay in a separate room away from other people in your home and use a separate bathroom if you have one.
  • Make sure that shared rooms have good airflow (e.g., open windows).

Keep a distance

  • Avoid being in the same room as others at the same time.

Wash your hands

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Dry your hands with a paper towel, or with your own cloth towel that no one shares with you.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

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 wastebaskets with a plastic bag makes waste disposal easier and safer.
  • Clean your hands after emptying wastebaskets.

After you have completed your self-isolation:

  • Get vaccinated at a pharmacy, your health care provider or a local health unit clinic
  • Protect yourself and those around you
Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario