COVID-19 Disease: How to self-isolate at home when you may have been exposed and have no symptoms

People with COVID-19 do not always recognize their early symptoms. Even though you do not have symptoms now, you need to self-isolate if in the last 14 days, you:

  • travelled outside of the Country
  • had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19

Self-isolate means that, for 14 days you need to:

  • stay at home and monitor yourself for symptoms, even if mild
  • avoid contact with other people to help prevent transmission of the virus at the earliest stage of illness
  • do your part to prevent the spread of disease in your home and in your community, in case you develop symptoms

To self-isolate, take the following measures:

Limit contact with others

  • Stay at home.
  • Do not go to school, work, other public areas or use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis).
  • Do not have visitors. 
  • Avoid contact with older adults, or those with medical conditions, who are at a higher risk of developing serious illness.
  • Avoid contact with others, especially those who have not travelled or been exposed to the virus.
  • If contact cannot be avoided, take the following precautions:
    • keep at least 2 metres between yourself and the other person
    • keep interactions brief
    • stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom, if possible

Things you can do while self-isolating

While keeping a physical distance of 2 metres from others, you can:

  • greet with a wave instead of a handshake, a kiss or a hug
  • use food delivery services or online shopping
  • ask family, a neighbor or friend to help with essential errands
  • exercise at home
  • go outside for some fresh air, a run, a bike ride, or to walk the dog
  • host online dinners and games with family and friends
  • use technology, such as video calls, to keep in touch with family and friends
  • work from home
  • get creative by drawing chalk art or running back yard obstacle courses and games

Keep your hands clean

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and dry with disposable paper towels or dry reusable towel, replacing it when it becomes wet.
  • You can also remove dirt with a wet wipe and then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm or into a tissue.

Keep surfaces clean and avoid sharing personal items

  • At least once daily, clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch often, like toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes.
  • Use store-bought disinfectants to clean, following the directions on the label.
  • Do not share personal items with others, such as toothbrushes, towels, bed linen, utensils or electronic devices.

Monitor yourself for symptoms

  • Monitor yourself for symptoms, particularly fever and respiratory symptoms such as coughing or difficulty breathing.
  • Take and record your temperature daily and avoid using fever-reducing medications (e.g. acetaminophen, ibuprofen) as much as possible. These medications could mask an early symptom of COVID-19.
  • If you develop symptoms, even if mild:
    • stay home
    • immediately isolate yourself from others in your house
    • contact your public health authority as soon as possible and follow their instructions

Supplies to have at home when self-isolating

  • Disposable paper towels
  • Thermometer
  • Running water
  • Hand soap
  • Alcohol-based sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Dish soap
  • Regular laundry soap
  • Regular household cleaning products
  • Alcohol prep wipes
  • Arrange to have your groceries delivered to you

We can all do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.