Avoid Contact With Other Members Of Your Household As Much As Possible
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, it is important to reduce the spread of infection to others in your household as much as possible.
If possible, you should:
- stay in a well-ventilated room separate from other people in your home, with an outside window that can be opened
- keep the door closed
- use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household if possible
- clean the bathroom regularly if you have to share these facilities, or try to use the facilities last and thoroughly clean the bathroom
- use separate towels from other household members, for drying yourself and for hand hygiene purposes
- avoid using shared spaces such as kitchens whilst others are present
- take your meals back to your room to eat
- wash your dishes using detergent and warm water and dry them, using a separate tea towel from the rest of the household, or use a dishwasher
Caring For Yourself After Covid
You can only leave isolation after 7 days , and if your symptoms have cleared up.
Make time to follow-up with your doctor after you leave isolation.
Most people who test positive for COVID-19 recover completely, but some people may develop long COVID.
Talk to your GP if you are experiencing ongoing mental health issues such as:
- trouble thinking clearly, focusing, or remembering
- depression, anxiety or other mental health problems.
Leaving Isolation For Emergency Care
If you are in mandatory isolation or quarantine but need to leave home to receive COVID-19 testing, emergency care, or critical care for pre-existing medical conditions, follow the rules in the exemption orders carefully:
- pre-arrange your appointment and leave your isolation area only on the date and at the time of your appointment
- follow all instructions provided by 811 or health-care providers
- use private transportation where practical
- maintain physical distance from others when shared transportation is necessary travel directly to your appointment with no stops
- follow instructions provided by 911 if you require emergency care
Read the exemption orders for more information:
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If You Develop Severe Symptoms
Call 911 or your local emergency number if you develop severe symptoms, such as:
- trouble breathing or severe shortness of breath
- persistent pressure or pain in the chest
- new onset of confusion
- difficulty waking up or staying awake
- pale, grey or blue-coloured skin, lips or nail beds
If you call an ambulance, tell the dispatcher that you have or may have COVID-19.
If using a private vehicle to the hospital, call ahead to let them know that that you have or may have COVID-19. Follow any directions provided.
While travelling in a private vehicle, follow strict individual public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission and:
- wear a respirator unless experiencing difficulty breathing
- all other passengers should also wear a respirator
Do not use public transportation to seek medical care unless you have no choice.
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Calculating Covid Isolation Period
So how do you calculate your isolation period?
According to the CDC, “day 0 is your first day of symptoms.” That means that Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed.
For those who test positive for COVID but have no symptoms, day 0 is the day of the positive test. Those who develop symptoms after testing positive must start their calculations over, however, with day 0 then becoming the first day of symptoms.
Under the CDC guidance, those in isolation should:
- Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign , seek emergency medical care immediately.
- Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
- Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
- Dont share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
- Wear a well-fitting mask when you need to be around other people.
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What If I Am Pregnant And Have Covid
Pregnant women, who are 14 weeks or more, have a higher risk of complications from COVID-19.
If you test positive to COVID-19 and you are more than 14 weeks pregnant, it is important that you tell your maternity care provider. This may be your GP, midwife, obstetrician or local maternity service.
Most pregnant women will be able to safely stay at home while they have COVID-19. During this time, it is important to:
- Have plenty of fluids, like you would with a regular cold or flu. If you feel unwell, paracetamol can also be taken to help with symptoms. Ibuprofen is not recommended to take while you are pregnant. It is important to mobilise regularly to reduce your risk of developing blood clots.
- It is important to keep a close eye on your babys movements. Call your maternity care provider immediately if your babys movements change or if you experience:
- vaginal bleeding
- sudden swelling of your face and hands
- you are in labour
- have any serious concerns about your pregnancy.
How Long Am I Infectious Or Able To Spread Covid
- Beginning 48 hours before symptoms started, or, if no symptoms, 48 hours before the positive test was taken
If you are fully vaccinated, ending 7 days from the time you develop symptoms of COVID-19 provided no symptoms or if symptoms are improving and you have not had a fever in the last 24 hours. If your symptoms are not improving your infectious period extends to day 10
If you are not fully vaccinated, ending 10 days from the time you develop symptoms of COVID-19 AND provided no symptoms or you are feeling better .
You need to self-isolate while you are considered infectious to limit further spread.
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What Happens When My Self
If you have received your results via PCR testing, public health will follow up with you at the end of your self-isolation period. If you are self-isolating because you are a close contact, and you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, your risk of infecting others with COVID-19 is low and you can return to work or school. However, if you have had another exposure during the initial 10 day period , the self-isolation should extend for 10 days from the last exposure.
We strongly recommend that everyone who is eligible receive both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series and the booster dose. If you are eligible but not fully vaccinated, you should get vaccinated once you are no longer self-isolating.
When Am I Considered Recovered
You are considered recovered when you are no longer infectious for COVID-19. Typically, this is:
- 7 full days after symptoms have started OR after your positive test was collected, if you had no symptoms.
- AND symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours and you dont have a fever
You can use the COVID-19 day tracker to determine your recovery/end isolation date.
Some individuals may continue to have a lingering cough, particularly if they are prone to chronic cough. However, if they meet the criteria above, they are no longer infectious and are safe to stop isolating.
If there are multiple positive cases in a household, recovery dates will vary based on when each persons symptoms started or when testing was completed. Your recovery date applies to you. You are considered recovered on this date and may leave isolation.
Visit for more information about your recovery from COVID-19.
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Dont Share Household Items
How Long Do I Need To Isolate For
If you test positive to COVID-19, you must isolate for 7 days after you had your positive COVID-19 test taken. When calculating your isolation period, the date the positive test is taken is day 0.
If you have symptoms including a sore throat, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath in the last 24 hours of your isolation, you should stay in isolation until 24 hours after your symptoms have resolved.
SA Health advice is that on days 8 to 10 after finishing isolation, you should:
- wear a mask when around other people
- not visit hospitals, correctional services, disability care or aged care facilities
- continue to follow this advice on days 8 to 14 if you have a weakened immune system .
If you have concerns, contact your GP or the National Coronavirus Helpline on .
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What Experts Say About Retesting After A Positive Covid Test
If you found yourself feeling confused over the CDC guidelines for quarantine and isolation, you’re not alone the president of the American Medical Association , Gerald E. Harmon, MD, on the matter on January 5. “A negative test should be required for ending isolation after one tests positive for COVID-19,” Dr. Harmon wrote. “Reemerging without knowing one’s status unnecessarily risks further transmission of the virus.”
According to the AMA, an estimated 31% of people remain infectious after five days following a positive COVID testand Dr. Heaton says this could result in “potentially hundreds of thousands of people” returning to work or school while they’re still contagious.
That said, even an additional test after five days of isolation, may only be so helpful. “A negative antigen test at five days tells you that the amount of virus present in your nose, saliva, or wherever you sampled from is low enough not to cause a positive test,” Clare Rock MD, infectious disease physician, epidemiologist, and associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, tells Health. That’s because antigen tests, more so than PCR tests, are prone to false negatives. “It does not necessarily mean you are not still infectious to others, which is why it’s very important to wear a mask,” says Dr. Rock.
Isolation And Quarantine For Covid
Isolation and quarantine are key strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you test positive for COVID-19, have symptoms, or are identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you should isolate or quarantine as appropriate.
This page outlines the difference between isolation and quarantine and explains why both are important. The guidance below is for the general public use.
For more details on isolation and quarantine, including activities you should avoid during your isolation or quarantine period, please see DOHs guidance What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 and What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19. You can also visit CDCs Quarantine and Isolation page.
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I Tested Positive With A Rapid Test What Next
- If your PCR results confirm that you are positive for COVID-19, your isolation period begins from the day your symptoms started or of your positive rapid test .
- If your PCR results come back negative, you are NOT considered a positive case of COVID-19 and can stop isolating.
- If you choose not to get a PCR test, follow the instructions below.
As someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, its important for you to complete these actions:
- Self-isolate right away.To prevent further spread of COVID-19, its important for you to self-isolate right away. For more details, view Coronavirus : symptoms and testing – Government of Nova Scotia, Canada.
You must self-isolate for:
- At least seven days after the start of symptoms or a positive test .
- You can leave isolation the morning of the 8th day if you no longer have symptoms or your symptoms are improving, and you have not had a fever for at least 24 hours. You can use the COVID-19 day tracker to determine your end isolation date.
- If there are others in your household, tell them to follow instructions based on whether they have symptoms, or do not have symptoms.
- Complete the Report and Support screening form, if you have not already completed it or call 1-833-797-7772 if you require assistance completing the form.
The form will:
If You Test Positive Or Have Symptoms
Regardless of your vaccination status or infection history:
- Isolate for at least 5 days
- Sleep and stay in a separate room from those not infected
- Use a separate bathroom if you can
- Wear a mask around others, even at home
For children who test positive:
- Children under 2 can end isolation on Day 6 without a negative test
- Children 2 years and older should follow the steps above for ending isolation
- You donât need to quarantine or stay home from work unless symptoms start
- Get tested immediately and on Day 3-5 following exposure
- If you test positive or symptoms start, isolate
If you had COVID-19 within the last 90 days:
- You donât need to test, quarantine, or stay home from work unless symptoms start
- If symptoms start, isolate and get tested
If youâre not vaccinated:
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Confirming You Are Positive
The Ministry of Health will send you a text message from the official 2328 or 2648 numbers confirming your positive test result. The text will provide information about self-isolation, support options and a 6-digit access code for the online contact tracing form.
- If you had a PCR test, you will get a text message with your result.
- If you had a rapid antigen test , you will get a text message after you have reported your results through My Covid Record or by phone. This can take up to 24 hours.
What If I Live In An Apartment Building
If you have to self-isolate and you live in an apartment building, you will need to follow extra steps to protect other building residents from COVID-19.
- You must remain inside your own unit. You should not use any shared or common facilities, such as the laundry room, gym, pool or outdoor areas.
- Wash your clothes inside your own unit.
- Ask a neighbour or contact your building manager about collecting your rubbish. Leave the rubbish outside your door, return inside your unit and close your door.
- If you are receiving deliveries, including food, at your home, ask for them to be left outside your door. Do not open the door to pick up the delivery until the corridor is empty.
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You And Your Household Contacts Must Isolate At Home
You must self-isolate at home for 7 days from the date you got tested, even if you are fully vaccinated. Self-isolation means staying in your home or accommodation and remaining separated from others. Please see the Self-Isolation Guideline for further information on how to self-isolate and what supports are available to you should you need them.
You must tell people you live with that you have COVID-19. Your household contacts must also self-isolate for 7 days, and have a rapid antigen test as soon as possible and again on Day 6 .
The NSW Health Isolation Support Line, is available for practical assistance during self-isolation on 1800 943 553.
What Should You Do After Isolation
After ending isolation, the CDC recommends individuals continue wearing a mask through day 10, or continue isolating for a full 10 days if masking isn’t an option. They also urged these individual to avoid anyone with a weakened immune system or those at higher risk of infection for the full 10 days.
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Calculating Your Isolation Period
If you have symptoms, day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed. If you have not had any symptoms, day 0 is your positive viral test date . Day 1 is the first full day after the specimen was collected for your positive test. Please see the Isolation and Quarantine Calculator for assistance.
I Think Or Know I Had Covid
You can be around others after:
- 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*
*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation
Note that these recommendations do not apply to people with severe COVID-19 or with weakened immune systems .
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How To Isolate & Quarantine
When youre in isolation or quarantine you must follow provincial and federal requirements.
It is highly recommended that anyone with COVID-19 isolate completely away from their household members when possible. This helps to prevent ongoing exposure to the virus.
Most people recover from COVID-19 without special treatment and can manage mild symptoms at home. Go to COVID-19 Self-Care Guide for more information.
What to Do:
- Stay home.
- Wear a mask if youll be within six feet or two metres of others in your household. This helps lower the possible spread of COVID-19.
- Get fresh air in your backyard, or on a private balcony. Be sure that youre on private property, can keep six feet or two metres away from others, and no one else comes into that area.
What Not to Do:
- Do not leave your home or attend school, day care, worship, work, social events, extra-curricular activities, public gatherings, or any other public places.
- Do not use the elevators or stairwells to go outside if you live in an apartment or high rise.
- Do not take public transportation, including buses, taxis, or ride sharing. This is prohibited.
- Do not have close contact with people in your household, especially seniors and people with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
- Do not have visitors to your home. Friends, family, or delivery services can drop off food, medicines, and other supplies at your door.
- Do not go for walks in your neighbourhood or parks.
To Isolate at Home: