Novel Coronavirus COVID-19

Information for close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases

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What does it mean to be a close contact of a COVID-19 case?

A close contact is anyone who has been in close physical proximity (less than two metres or six feet) for more than 10 minutes to someone who has COVID-19. It also includes people who provided care for the case or had direct contact with infectious body fluids.

You are a close contact when:

  • You were less than two metres or six feet away for 10 minutes or more, even if you were wearing a non-medical mask.
  • You had multiple close interactions with someone over a 24-hour period (even if each was less than 10 minutes).
  • You had close physical contact with the person, such as a hug.
  • You live or provide care to someone in the same home.

You are not a close contact when:

  • You had brief close contact (less than 10 minutes)
  • You had prolonged close contact while wearing medical grade personal protective equipment
  • You passed by someone quickly.
  • You greeted someone and kept your distance of two metres or six feet.
  • You made a delivery to someone who was self-isolating but had no contact at the time.

Should I get tested if I am a close contact?

If public health officials have informed you that you are a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, public health officials will recommend testing if you have no COVID-19 symptoms after 10 days from your last exposure to the case. This is called asymptomatic testing. In addition, you should get tested if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time, including if you develop symptoms after you were tested. Information on COVID-19 symptoms is available at

Getting tested too early after exposure to a case can result in a false negative because the test may not be able to detect the virus yet. This is why you must continue to self-isolate (quarantine) for the full 14 days even if you have tested negative.

How do I self-isolate?

See directions here, including information on how to self-isolate from others in your household:

I am a close contact of a COVID-19 case. What should I do?

Because you are a close contact of a COVID-19 case, you are required to self-isolate for 14 days from the time you were exposed. You must continue to self-isolate for the full 14 days even if you receive a negative test, or as public health officials advise.

If I’m a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, do my close contacts (e.g. my family, household members, friends I saw before self-isolation, etc.) need to isolate and get tested?

Public health officials will follow up with all close contacts and provide direction on self-isolation and testing.

You should seek testing immediately if you are symptomatic or have been directed by public health officials. If you are not symptomatic, you should follow the advice of public health officials and self-isolate for 14 days. Your household members must self-isolate along with you while you wait for test results.

Close contacts should also seek testing 10 days after their last exposure. Your household should self-isolate while waiting for your test results. If your test results are negative, your household members can stop self-isolating, though you should continue self-isolating until 14 days after your last possible exposure. However, if you test positive for COVID-19, you and your household should continue self-isolating and public health officials will provide further instructions.

If you are a close contact and decide not to be tested, then all household members should self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days and up to 24 days. Public health officials will provide further instructions.