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Medical Self-isolation Recommendations

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General Recommendations

If you have COVID-19:

  • You are recommended to isolate for 7 days after your positive diagnosis.  

  • The 7-day isolation recommendation is for everyone who tests positive, regardless of their vaccination status.

  • The recommended medical isolation period can end 7 days after a positive test or onset of symptoms, if symptoms have cleared up.

If you are immunosuppressed and have COVID-19:

  • You are recommended to isolate for 10 days after your positive diagnosis.
  • The recommended medical isolation period can end 10 days after a positive test or onset of symptoms, if symptoms have cleared up. 

Go to the “Stay Home & Isolate” section below for detailed isolation guidelines. 

 

If you are a close contact of a positive case:

 

  • It is recommended that you isolate as soon as you know you are a close contact. 

  • If you start to feel sick while you are isolating, assume you are now positive and inform your PSO. 

  • If you feel well, even if you have been tested, we recommend that you continue to isolate for the recommended number of days, from the last day you were in contact with someone positive. 

 

If you are a close contact who lives with someone infected with Covid 19

If you’re in a home that is isolating in a bubble with someone who is positive, it is recommended you isolate for 14 days, as long as:

  • You are asymptomatic.
  • You continue to test negative during the isolation period.
  • We recommend rapid tests at home or in at a community testing centre on the 3rd, 7th, 10th and 14th day after first exposure (approximate days).
  • Some of these tests can be done at the clinic (PCR or ID Now tests) if there is capacity at the CMC or hospital. 
  • If only one test can be done at the clinic, it should be between day 3 - 7 after exposure began.
  • If rapid tests are limited in supply, a minimum of 2 tests should be done (one between day 3 - 7, another on day 14). 
  • A contact who tests negative repeatedly while living with a positive case can end their isolation after 14 days, even if other people in the home test positive after the first person in the home tests positive.
  • If a contact living with a positive case ends up testing positive, it is recommended that they isolate for a minimum of 7 days after their positive test.

 

If you are a close contact after being exposed to someone with COVID-19 in a community setting (event, gathering, visit):

 

We recommend that you isolate for 7 days if:

  • You test negative on day 3 and day 7 after the last exposure, and don't have any symptoms. 

 

If you test positive while isolating

 

If you test positive while you are isolating, it is recommended that you isolate for 7 days starting from the day your test is done (or your symptoms began). 

  • If you receive a negative result, we recommend that you continue to follow isolation guidelines for 7 days, unless Public Health informs you otherwise.  
  • For essential workers, see the section below called “Essential Workers Recommendations”.

 

Icon of a house

ISOLATION RECOMMENDATIONS: STAY HOME

There are 3 options for recommended medical isolation

1. Isolate alone in another dwelling.

2. Isolate in a separate room in your home.  

  • For example, if you have a basement room or bedroom that only you can use, or a cabin you can be away from the rest of your family. 

3. Isolate with members of your household as a “bubble”. 

  • This means all people in your house isolate together and follow the guidelines below. 

People in your house who are not positive are recommended to isolate for a maximum of 14 days, in case they develop an infection after having been with you during your isolation.

Self-isolation at home icon

GUIDELINES FOR ISOLATING ALONE

Stay home during the isolation period

If you can isolate in a separate dwelling or unit, or in a separate room available in your home, remain alone in that space for the recommended isolation period.  

  • You can put up a DO NOT invite visitors on your front door.   
  • If you are isolating in a separate dwelling, don’t have people over for visits.

If you are isolating in a separate room in your home that has a door, stay in the room. Limit time spent with household members who are not isolating. Eat your meals separately, and sleep alone. 

  • If possible, use a bathroom not used by anyone else, or if you are sharing a bathroom, wear a mask when you do so and clean the main surfaces (light switch, sink) after each use.  
  • Close the toilet lid before flushing. Wash your hands after using the washroom. 
  • Air out your room often by opening a window (even if just a crack for better air), weather permitting. 
  • Avoid contact with pets in the home. 
  • If you need fresh air you can go outside, but stay in a private area (i.e. backyard or balcony) and wear a mask. 
  • If possible, ask someone in your family to bring meals to you at your room door 
  • If this isn’t possible, arrange with them for you to use the kitchen at a time when they can be in a separate room or outside. Clean the surfaces you touch and wash your dishes right away if you do this. 

During recommended isolation period

  • Don’t go to work, school, into stores, share rides or enter other public places. 
  • You may talk to visitors outside your home in your yard, provided you wear a mask and maintain at least a 2-metre/6-foot distance. 

Medical masks provide better protection than cloth masks. If you have medical masks, use them, and change them frequently.  

Illustration of person wearing a green mask

LIMITING CONTACT DURING RECOMMENDED ISOLATION

  • If you are isolating in a separate room with a door, in your home, try to keep your distance from other people in your household through your isolation period. This is to reduce chances that they get COVID-19 while they are with you. 
  • Wear a mask indoors if you need to be in the same room as other people in your household.
  • For example: If someone needs to come into your room to bring you something. 

If you start to feel more sick during isolation, and someone needs to drive you to the clinic to be seen by a nurse or doctor, they should also wear a mask. 

A medical mask is better than a cloth mask, if you have them.

Throw disposable masks into a closed garbage bag after using them, then wash your hands.  

Household bubble icon

ISOLATING WITH MEMBERS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD AS A “BUBBLE”

What is a household bubble? 

Some people don't have enough space in their home to be fully separated from others if they become infected with COVID-19. For example, people who are taking care of someone else in their home, a parent or guardian with young children, or people who care for someone with mobility challenges.  

In these situations, people who are infected may choose to isolate as a household bubble.  

It is recommended that people in your home who are not positive isolate for 14 days total, in case they develop an infection in the days following their bubble isolation with you. 

GUIDELINES FOR ISOLATING IN A BUBBLE

If you are isolating in a household bubble, it is recommended that everyone who lives with you stay at home for the isolation period.  The recommended isolation periods are:

  • 7 days of isolation starting on the day the 1st person in your home is infected (with symptoms), or tests positive (without symptoms). 
  • An additional 7 days of isolation are recommended for close contacts in your household.

Isolation can be long if there are many people in your home, and one person passes the infection to another, and then another. 

  • Practice physical distancing as much as possible between people who are infected and people who are not.  
  • Wear medical masks indoors when you are in the same room with a household member who is infected. If you don’t have medical masks, use a cloth mask. 
  • Keeping your physical distance and wearing a mask will help people in your home hopefully avoid becoming infected.  
  • If more than one person is infected in your home, they can be together.
    • For example, if two children in the same house are both infected, they can play together with each other without needing masks, and share the same bedroom. 
  • Monitor all household members who are not yet infected for symptoms. 
    • If any symptoms develop, they should be considered to be positive.
    • They don't need a test, since they have such close contact with the other household member. They can be assumed to be positive. 
  • If the person or people in your household who are infected develop serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call the CMC for immediate support. 

 

Isolating as a bubble is not recommended if you live with vulnerable or elderly people

Don't share an isolation bubble with family members with high-risk factors, such as having a suppressed immune system, undergoing active treatment for cancer, receiving hemodialysis, or being older than 70. 

It’s safer for these people to be completely separate from you while you are infectious. They’ll have less chance of catching the virus from you.

Icon of washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds

WASH YOUR HANDS

  • When isolating, wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds regularly. 
  • Dry with a paper towel or with a cloth hand towel used only by you. 
  • If soap and warm water are unavailable, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 70% alcohol. 
  • Take special care to wash your hands before touching any common areas (for example in a shared bathroom). 
  • Wash your hands before and after touching your pet. 
Icon of person sneezing into their elbow

COUGH AND SNEEZE INTO YOUR SLEEVE OR INTO A PAPER TISSUE

  • Use a paper tissue to cough, sneeze and wipe your nose. 
  • Throw away the tissue into a garbage can then wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. 

DO NOT SHARE PERSONAL ITEMS DISINFECT SURFACES AND ITEMS FREQUENTLY

  • While isolating, don’t share plates, utensils, cups, towels, sheets, clothing or any other items with household members who are not infected.  
  • Wash dishes and utensils with soap and water after each use, or use the dishwasher. 
  • Disinfect very high touch surfaces and items frequently (doorknobs, light switches, handrails, toys an infected child has put in their mouth etc.). You do not need to regularly disinfect things like chairs, couches etc. 
  • If possible, people who are sick or in self-isolation should clean their space at least once a day.  
  • Prepare a disinfectant solution of 1 part household bleach (5%) to 9 parts water (e.g. 1 cup bleach and 9 cups water).  
  • Make the mix fresh everyday so it will remain effective. 
  • If a caregiver or other household member is doing the cleaning, they should wear waterproof gloves. These should be washed after use. 

 

Essential Workers

People who are critical, essential workers should follow specific instructions if they are a contact of a positive case. These steps are necessary because of how many contacts there are in Eeyou Istchee. 

  • If the essential service (Emergency Room, Fire Department, Police, Robin’s Nest) will be compromised by the person staying home, then critical essential workers may continue to work IF they are asymptomatic
  • They will need to be tested about every 2 days while working. This can be with a clinic test or an antigen test. 
  • If they test positive during the isolation period, they need to fully isolate, even from work. 
  • They will need to use a medical mask in all work settings. 
  • They will need to follow strict isolation when not doing essential work (no visiting homes or going to community locations on their personal time). 
  • They cannot use shared break/meal spaces at work.
  • They must tell their manager they are a contact of a positive case so, if it’s possible, they can be reassigned to work that involves the least direct contact with the public. 

 

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