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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): 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 Canada
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

Note: If you are living with a person who is isolated because they have or are suspected to have COVID-19, your self-isolation period may be extended beyond 14 days. Seek direction from your public health authority.

To self-isolate, take the following measures:
Limit contact with others

Stay at home or the place you are staying in Canada.
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 (or as directed by your public health authority) 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
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.

For more information, visit Canada.ca/coronavirus or call 1-833-784-4397

Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada    3/25/2020


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