Novel Coronavirus COVID-19
 

Next Steps If You Have Symptoms or Have Been Exposed to COVID-19

 

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What to do if you have symptoms that may be COVID-19

Assess your symptoms and check the online COVID-19 screening tool

Check the online COVID-19 Screening Tool sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/screening-tool/ or call Health Links - Info SantÚ (204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257) if you are unsure about your symptoms.

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. Some of the more commonly reported symptoms include:

  • Fever/chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat/hoarse voice
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Skin rash of unknown cause
  • Vomiting, diarrhea for more than 24 hours
  • Nausea or loss of appetite
  • Runny nose
  • Poor feeding in an infant

Call 911 if your symptoms are severe (i.e. new or severe chest pain, trouble breathing, bluish lips or face, sudden confusion, symptoms of stroke such as leg or arm weakness, numbness, slurred speech or facial drooping). It is important to seek medical attention early to get the care you need.

 

Determine if you should be tested

Testing can help determine if you have COVID-19. This is an important step to help reduce the spread of the virus.

If you have had a previous COVID-19 infection, it is possible to have COVID-19 again. However, it is uncommon to get COVID-19 again within three to six months of your last infection. If it has been less than four months since your last COVID-19 infection and you have symptoms again, testing is not routinely recommended, but you should continue to isolate until you do not have fever and your other symptoms have been improving over the past 24 hours. However, if you are at high risk of severe disease, health care providers may recommend testing regardless of the time since your previous infection.

If it has been more than four months since your last COVID-19 infection and you have symptoms again, testing is recommended.

Go to the Testing Advice and Guidance page for more detailed information.

 

Determine if treatment is recommended for you

If you have COVID-19, treatment may be available. Early treatment can help prevent severe illness. To be effective, you need to begin treatment within five to seven days of your symptoms starting. Treatment is for people at higher risk, including some health conditions and pregnancy. People who are vaccinated and not vaccinated can receive treatment. More information on treatment is available here Province of Manitoba | Treatment

 

Follow public health guidance for isolation

Isolation is the period of time in which individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, or have symptoms of COVID-19, are recommended to stay away from others to limit further spread. Isolation can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your household and community.

When do I need to isolate and for how long?

Isolation is recommended when you test positive on a laboratory based (e.g. PCR) test, on a rapid antigen test, or if you have symptoms without testing:

  • You should isolate for 5 days after your symptoms started and until you have no fever and your other symptoms have improved over the past 24 hours.
  • If you don't have symptoms and test positive, you should isolate for 5 days after your test date.

In addition, for 10 days after your symptoms start (or your test date if you don't have symptoms):

  • wear a well-made, well-fitted mask in public settings
  • avoid non-essential visits with people who are at higher risk of severe disease
  • avoid non-essential visits to high risk settings (e.g. personal care homes, health care facilities).

How do I isolate?

  • stay at home and avoid contact with other people (including household members).
  • do not leave home to go to work, school or other public places unless you require emergency or urgent medical care. Do not have visitors.
  • stay in your own room or on a separate floor from other members of your household. Avoid sharing personal and household items. If possible, use a separate bathroom. If you must share a bathroom, it should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • if you need to leave your room or floor, wear a well-made, well-fitting mask and stay at least two metres (six feet) away from other members of your household.
  • avoid contact with pets that live in your home.
  • clean your hands regularly - wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol
  • cover your coughs and sneezes
  • if appropriate, open windows to encourage airflow.
  • arrange to have groceries and supplies dropped off at your door to minimize contact with others.
  • cancel or notify any service providers who regularly come into your home that a household member is sick, has COVID-19, or is waiting test results. This includes home care workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, etc. They will discuss how best to provide care during this time.

 

Monitor your symptoms and seek care as needed

Anyone who is isolating should also be monitoring their health for any new or worsening symptoms, including fever, cough, headache or breathing difficulties. If you start to feel worse during your isolation period, call your health care provider or Health Links - Info SantÚ at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257.

Call 911 if your symptoms are severe (i.e. new or severe chest pain, trouble breathing, bluish lips or face, sudden confusion, symptoms of stroke such as leg or arm weakness, numbness, slurred speech or facial drooping).

It is important to seek medical attention early to get the care you need.

 

Advice if you work in a high risk setting

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19 and work in a high-risk setting (such as a hospital, a long-term care home, or another congregate setting), you should speak with your employer and follow your workplace guidance for return to work.

 


 

What to do if you have be exposed to COVID-19

Whether notified of a COVID-19 exposure or not, everyone should routinely monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and stay home if you develop symptoms.

 

Who should self-isolate (quarantine)?

Self-isolation (quarantine) is the period of time in which individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms are recommended to stay away from others to limit further spread. Self-isolation (quarantine) is no longer routinely recommended by public health, except in high risk settings, such as in health care facilities.

With the spread of the more transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19, there has been an increase in COVID-19 in our communities and many people will be exposed to COVID-19. Whether notified of a COVID-19 exposure or not, everyone should routinely monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and stay home if you develop symptoms.

 

What about my household members or other close contacts?

Close contacts, such as household members, should self-monitor for symptoms and are not required to self-isolate (quarantine), except in high risk settings, such as in health care facilities. If you live in a First Nation community, check with your community for further guidance.

Household contacts can also reduce the risk of further spread for 10 days after their last exposure by:

  • wearing a well-made, well-fitted mask in public settings
  • avoid visiting people at higher risk of severe disease
  • avoid non-essential visits to high risk settings.

It is recommended that household contacts self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following any exposure, isolate immediately if any develop, and check the online COVID-19 Screening Tool to determine if testing is recommended for you.

 


 

Self-isolation (quarantine) after travel

Effective October 1, 2022, Canada has discontinued COVID-19 border measures including testing, and self-isolation (quarantine) requirements for travellers. Some provinces and territories may continue additional requirements.

Anyone travelling to other provinces, territories, or other countries should check their destination's public health information for any travel requirements and COVID-19 guidance.