COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high. This does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on our health care system. If we do not flatten the epidemic curve now, the increase of COVID-19 cases could impact health care resources available to Canadians.
Difference between quarantine (self-isolate) and isolate
There is a difference between advice to quarantine (self-isolate) and advice to isolate. It is important to note these measures are in place to protect the health and safety of Canadians.
Quarantine for 14 days if you have no symptoms and you:
- are returning from travel outside of Canada
- had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19
- have been told by the public health authority that you may have been exposed and need to quarantine
Quarantine means that for 14 days you need to:
- stay at home and monitor yourself for symptoms, even if mild
- avoid contact with others to help prevent transmission of the virus at the earliest stage of illness
- practise physical (social) distancing in your home and community
- If you develop symptoms, even if mild, stay home and isolate yourself from others. Immediately call a health care professional or your public health authority.
You must isolate for at least 14 days if you have:
- been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting for laboratory test results for COVID-19
- symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild
- been in contact with a suspected, probable or confirmed case of COVID-19
- been advised to do so by your public health authority
returned from travel outside Canada and have symptoms of COVID-19 (mandatory)
Isolation means you must go directly home and stay home for:
- a minimum of 14 days after the onset of your first symptoms of COVID-19 or
- until your local public health authority says you are no longer at risk of spreading the virus
If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your health care provider or public health authority and follow their instructions.