Main Page Content

This page provides guidance for individuals who have COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19. For medical or health advice, contact your health care provider or Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000.

If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Tell them if you have tested positive, have symptoms, or possible exposure to COVID-19.

Please note: the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s (WECHU) case and contact management may provide different guidance to any individual based on their exposure history, context of interactions, and symptom onset. If you have completed your required isolation period, please continue to follow current public health guidelines to prevent re-infection and the spread of COVID-19.

Individuals who have previously tested positive and fully recovered, but have a new high-risk exposure unrelated to their previous exposure, are still required to follow the outlined public health protocols where applicable. If symptoms reappear within 90 days of the last confirmed COVID-19 infection, isolate yourself from others and contact the WECHU. If 90 days have passed, take the online self-assessment or contact your health care provider, and follow the instructions provided.

If you are awaiting your test result:

Whether you have symptoms or do not, you must self-isolate from others while waiting for your results. However, you are not required to self-isolate if you were tested as a part of regular Surveillance Testing, or as a routine precaution and have no symptoms and no possible exposure to the virus (e.g. visiting a long-term care home). If you are a close contact of someone with symptoms, you are required to self-isolate while they wait for their test results.


Guidance for caregivers, household members and close contacts


If your test result is POSITIVE:

  • Self-isolate from others immediately and determine your next steps (see below).
  • Make a list of your close contacts from 14 days prior to when you started having symptoms to assist in contact tracing. If you have no symptoms or are unsure when you started having symptoms, include your close contacts from 14 days prior to the date you were tested.
  • Tell your close contacts that you tested positive and ask them to self-isolate. Advise them to view guidance for if you have had high-risk exposure.
  • The WECHU will contact you to follow-up.

Please be advised that WECHU is contacting positive cases as quickly as possible. In the event that your isolation period has ended and your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours, it is acceptable to end your isolation prior to being cleared or contacted by the WECHU. The WECHU does not provide written clearance for employees or employers, or travel purposes related to COVID-19 testing or isolation periods. If you require a written proof of your test result, please contact the assessment centre which administered your test.

Next Steps:

  • Have mild to moderate symptoms:
    Self-isolate for 10 days after the day your symptoms started. After 10 days, if your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, you can stop isolating.
  • Have severe symptoms or are immunocompromised:
    Self-isolate for 20 days after the day your symptoms started or if you have no symptoms, after the day you were tested. After 20 days, if you have been symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, you can stop isolating.
  • Have no symptoms:
    Self-isolate for 10 days after the day you were tested. After 10 days, if you still have no symptoms, you can stop isolating.
  • Developed symptoms during self-isolation:
    Self-isolate for 10 days after your symptoms started. After 10 days, if your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, you can stop isolating.
  • Finished isolation period with symptoms:
    Self-isolate until your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.

If your test result is NEGATIVE:

  • Self-isolate from others immediately until you determine your next steps (see below).
  • Please note that if you test negative, the WECHU will not contact you, unless you are a confirmed close contact of a positive case or were in a high-risk outbreak setting as identified by the WECHU.

Next steps:

  • Have no symptoms:
    Self-isolate for 14 days from your last exposure, even if you have tested negative. After 14 days, if you have remained symptom-free, you can stop isolating.
  • Have symptoms:
    Self-isolate for 14 days from your last exposure, even if you have tested negative. After 14 days, if your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, you can stop isolating.
  • Learn if you have had high-risk exposure.
  • Have no symptoms:
    Self-monitor for 14 days from your last exposure. After 14 days, if you still have no symptoms, you can stop isolating.
  • Have symptoms:
    Self-isolate for 14 days from your last exposure, even if you have tested negative, or until you receive an alternative diagnosis from your health care provider.
  • Learn if you have had low-risk exposure.

Book an appointment for a new COVID-19 test. If your new test result is positive, self-isolate for 10 days from when you started having symptoms. If your new test result is negative, self-isolate until the initial 14-day period is over if your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. Learn how to Get Tested.

  • Have symptoms:
    Self-isolate until your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, or until you receive an alternative diagnosis from your health care provider.
  • Have no symptoms:
    Continue to follow current public health guidelines.

If you have had high-risk exposure:

  • Were in close contact with someone who tested positive;
  • Received a notification from the COVID Alert app that you have been exposed;
  • Were in a high-risk outbreak setting as identified by the WECHU; or
  • Have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.

Next steps:

  • Self-isolate from others immediately and book an appointment for a COVID-19 test. Learn how to Get Tested.
  • Learn more about travel, testing, quarantine and borders for recent travellers.
  • Individuals who do not have symptoms and who are fully vaccinated with a high-risk exposure are not required to self-isolate, but should still be tested. Excludes residents of long-term care and retirement homes and patients admitted to health care settings. Other exceptions may apply (e.g. individuals living in remote communities or living with individuals at increased risk for severe disease).
  • Individuals with no symptoms and who are fully vaccinated with a high-risk exposure must report their exposure to their employer. Please note that employers may have their own protocols in place for those who are fully vaccinated that extend beyond Public Health recommendations.
  • If a fully vaccinated individual with high-risk exposure was exposed to a variant of concern, has symptoms, develops symptoms, or is directed by Public Health, they must self-isolate and follow guidance for if you test positive or test negative.
  • Follow guidance for if you test positive or test negative.
  • Learn more about if you are a household contact.
  • Note: A fully vaccinated individual is defined as an individual who is at least 14 days past receiving their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or their first dose of a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine series.

If you have had low-risk exposure:

  • Had a transient or brief interaction with someone who tested positive. These interactions include brushing past someone or non-contact pick-up/deliveries;
  • Were in close contact with someone who is a close contact of a positive case;
  • Were in contact with someone who tested positive while using appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (e.g., wearing both a mask and eye protection,), without other factors that would increase risk of exposure (e.g. very long duration of exposure, confined space with poor ventilation);
  • Were in contact with a positive case with physical distancing measures in place in a well ventilated space (e.g. outdoors) or while separated by a barrier;
  • Were in a low risk outbreak setting as identified by the Health Unit;
  • Visited a public location identified as a possible COVID-19 exposure (See ‘list of Possible COVID-19 Exposures’ and specific instructions);
  • Live in a self-contained separate unit (e.g. separate basement apartment) from a positive case; or
  • Have recently travelled within Canada.

Next Steps:

  • Monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days after exposure.
  • If you develop symptoms:

Related Content: 

Last modified: 
Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 11:59am