Self-Isolation Instructions for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 Order for Self-Isolation
 

Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 Order for Self-Isolation

What is a COVID-19 class order?
The "class order" directs people to stay home and self-isolate until they are not contagious. The purpose is to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and protect the health of everyone in Ottawa.
What is the goal of this order?
The goal of this order is to provide authority to obtain information from circumstances that may lead to COVID-19 spread and in the rare circumstances to hold individuals who are unreasonably ignoring the Public Health guidance and knowingly putting others at risk.
Can Ottawa Public Health issue a class order, and how long will it be in effect?
The provincial Health Protection & Promotion Act allows the Medical Officer of Health to issue a "class order." The order was issued on September 22, 2020, and is in effect until the Medical Officer of Health declares it is no longer needed.
Who does the class order apply to?

The class order is directed to:

  • People with symptoms of COVID-19.
  • People who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • People in recent close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. This includes caregivers and household members. 
How long must people self-isolate for?
Self-isolation is usually for 14 days from the day the person's symptoms began (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat). Sometimes people are asked to stay home longer, depending on their symptoms and test results.
Can some people be exempted from the class order?
Some essential service workers, who are close contacts with no symptoms may be permitted to work. However, they must self-isolate at home when they are not working or travelling to/from work. Exceptions may also be made for people leaving domestic violence. Ottawa Public Health will review exceptions for each situation.
People can still go for medical appointments when they are in self-isolation. Contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 for instructions before going to a medical clinic or hospital.
How does self-isolation work?
Self-isolation means staying at home or in an isolation facility. Do not go outside or have visitors. Avoid close contact with others. Shop online or have someone pick up supplies for you. If you need support with groceries, prescriptions or other services, please call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 for advice.
Keep as much distance as possible from the people you live with. Use a separate bathroom and bedroom, if you have one. When sharing rooms, open windows for good airflow. See how to self-isolate.
People who are homeless, do not have adequate housing, or feel unsafe at home will be provided temporary shelter.
What happens if someone does not self-isolate?
A person who ignores the class order to self-isolate can be charged and fined up to $5,000 per day. Police may be called to assist.
Can someone legally challenge the class order?
The person listed in the class order can challenge it by appealing to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board: http://www.hsarb.on.ca/scripts/english/contact.asp.
“Mild” Symptoms

Many have expressed concern over having to self-isolate/get tested for “sniffles” or “mild symptoms”.   It is important to note that at this moment we cannot rule out that those symptoms are not COVID-19.  Those mild symptoms can easily result in community spread and harm others.  For more information on COVID-19 symptoms please refer to our webpage

Last revised on September 24, 2020.

What is self-monitoring?

Self-monitoring is when you monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 like fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If these symptoms develop, consult the latest guidance on our main COVID-19 page.

Learn more about how to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. 

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 and you have been told by a health care provider or Public Health to separate yourself from others, including from the people you live with, to the greatest extent possible. The purpose of self-isolation is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others in your home and your community.

You must isolate yourself for at least 14 days if you have:

  • returned from travel outside Canada
  • been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild
  • been in contact with a suspected, probable or confirmed case of COVID-19
Note: You do NOT need to self-isolate after travelling within Canada.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health is strongly urging self-isolation for individuals who have weakened immune systems.

  • If you are 70 years of age or older, it is recommended that you limit your time outside of your home as much as possible, as you may be at higher risk of developing COVID-19 complications.

Self-isolation instructions

The self-isolation instructions and criteria to discontinue self-isolation vary for each person's situation. Click on the title below that best describes your situation.

Returning from travel WITH symptoms

On March 25, 2020 the Government of Canada issued an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea, or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • This order will be fully implemented by the Canada Border Services Agency at points of entry.
  • The Government of Canada will use its authority under the Quarantine Act to ensure compliance with the order.
  • Failure to comply with this Order is an offense under the Quarantine Act and can result in a fine.
  • Spot checks will be conducted by the Government of Canada to verify compliance.
  • All individuals permitted to enter Canada are subject to this Order except for certain people who cross the border regularly to ensure the continued flow of goods and services, and those who provide essential services. Individuals exempt from the Order will still need to practice physical distancing and self monitoring and contact their local public health authority if they feel sick.
  • Travel to Canada is also currently being restricted for all foreign nationals coming from any country. These new restrictions prohibit foreign nationals, including U.S. nationals, from entering Canada for non-essential travel. Exemptions to the prohibition exist for certain groups of foreign nationals, for example, temporary foreign workers, some students, and persons delivering urgent medical supplies as long as they do not exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

Listed below are instructions for returning travellers WITH symptoms:

  • If you have recently returned to Canada and you have symptoms, you must isolate immediately. This is mandatory.
  • Go to your place of isolation using private transportation only, such as your personal vehicle. Please refer to the Government of Canada website for more information.
  • If you do not have a place to isolate (or cannot get to your place of isolation using private transportation), you will be required to isolate for 14 days in a facility designated by the Government of Canada.
  • If needed, immediate medical attention will be provided when you arrive in Canada.
  • Wash your hands and put on the mask given to you before leaving the airport. Keep the mask on while in all public settings as you travel home or to your isolation place.
  • Go directly to the place where you will isolate, do not stop anywhere, and stay there for 14 days from the date you arrived in Canada.
  • You may not isolate in a place where there are vulnerable people including people who have a medical condition, weakened immune systems, or who are 70 years of age or older.
  • Leaving your property to go for a walk is not permitted. Stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh air. 

Follow general instructions for self-isolation:

  • Limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children.
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others, if possible.
  • Do not have visitors.
  • Do not leave your place of isolation except to get medical attention.
  • Do not use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis).
  • Do not go to school, work or other public areas.
  • Do not go into the community, including the grocery store and pharmacy.
  • If you need groceries, medication or other essential items, arrange to have a family member, friend, neighbour, or anyone else who is not in self-isolation do this for you. Have items left at the door to minimize contact.
    • *If this is not possible, call 2-1-1 for information on the full range of community, social, government, and health services and programs available in Ottawa, and how to access them.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, practice physical distancing and keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and the other person.

Worsening COVID-19 symptoms:

  • If your symptoms are worsening to a point where you cannot manage at home, go to your nearest emergency department and/or call 911. 
Criteria to discontinue self-isolation:
Who  When
Those returning from travel WITH symptoms

Fourteen (14) days since your return to Canada OR 14 days after your symptoms started, whichever is longer

AND you have no fever
AND your symptoms are improving
AND you are not a health care worker*

* Please note: hospitalized patients and health care workers have different criteria for discontinuing self-isolation. Please refer to the Ottawa Public Health Criteria for discharge from self-isolation and return to work for HCWs for more information.   

Continue physical distancing AFTER your self-isolation has ended – these recommendations apply to all persons:

  • Keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and other people.
  • Limit group gatherings.
  • Connect via phone, video chat, or social media instead of in person.
  • Talk to your employer about working from home (if possible).
  • Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential.
  • Keep windows down for essential community trips via taxi or rideshares.
  • You can go outside for a walk, play catch/kick a ball, throw a football, fly a kite, sit on a blanket, grass or lawn chair, or exercise/stretch on a yoga mat, but not in a class (learn more on the new guidelines for the use of City parks). While outside, avoid spitting in public, avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you. Make an effort to step-aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks. Passing someone on the sidewalk is not considered close contact or a significant risk for exposure to COVID-19.

Returning from travel WITHOUT symptoms

On March 25, 2020 the Government of Canada issued an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea, or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • This order will be fully implemented by the Canada Border Services Agency at points of entry.
  • The Government of Canada will use its authority under the Quarantine Act to ensure compliance with the order.
  • Failure to comply with this Order is an offense under the Quarantine Actand can result in a fine.
  • Spot checks will be conducted by the Government of Canada to verify compliance.
  • All individuals permitted to enter Canada are subject to this Order except for certain people who cross the border regularly to ensure the continued flow of goods and services, and those who provide essential services. Individuals exempt from the Order will still need to practice physical distancing and self monitoring and contact their local public health authority if they feel sick.
  • Travel to Canada is also currently being restricted for all foreign nationals coming from any country. These new restrictions prohibit foreign nationals, including U.S. nationals, from entering Canada for non-essential travel. Exemptions to the prohibition exist for certain groups of foreign nationals, for example, temporary foreign workers, some students, and persons delivering urgent medical supplies as long as they do not exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

Listed below are instructions for returning travellers WITHOUT symptoms:

  • Go directly to the place where you will isolate, do not stop anywhere, and stay in your place of isolation for 14 days from the date you arrived in Canada.
  • You can take public transportation, but you must not make any unnecessary stops on your way home, and you must practice physical distancing at all times.
  • You can take a ride-share, but you must not make any unnecessary stops on your way home. You should sit in the back-seat passenger side, keep the windows down, and practice physical distancing at all times.

Follow general instructions for those on self-isolation:

  • Limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children.
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible.
  • Do not have visitors.
  • Do not leave your place of isolation unless it's to get medical attention.
  • Do not use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis).
  • Do not go to school, work or other public areas.
  • Do not go into the community, including the grocery store and pharmacy.
  • If you need groceries, medication or other essential items, arrange to have a family member, friend, neighbour, or anyone else who is not in self-isolation do this for you. Have items left at the door to minimize contact.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, practice physical distancing and keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and the other person. 

Developing COVID-19 symptoms:

  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., cough, fever, difficulty breathing), please use the Government of Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment tool to find out how to get  further care.
  • Most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own at home.
  • If your symptoms are worsening to a point where you cannot manage at home, go to your nearest emergency department and/or call 911.
Criteria to discontinue self-isolation:
Who  When
Those returning from travel WITHOUT symptoms Fourteen (14) days since your return to Canada 
AND you have not developed any symptoms of COVID-19 

* Please note: hospitalized patients and health care workers have different criteria for discontinuing self-isolation. Please refer to the Ottawa Public Health Criteria for discharge from self-isolation and return to work for HCWs for more information. 

Continue physical distancing AFTER your self-isolation has ended – these recommendations apply to all persons:

  • Keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and other people.
  • Limit group gatherings.
  • Connect via phone, video chat, or social media instead of in person.
  • Talk to your employer about working from home (if possible).
  • Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential.
  • Keep windows down for essential community trips via taxi or rideshares.
  • You can go outside for a walk, play catch/kick a ball, throw a football, fly a kite, sit on a blanket, grass or lawn chair, or exercise/stretch on a yoga mat, but not in a class (learn more on the new guidelines for the use of City parks). While outside, avoid spitting in public, avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you. Make an effort to step-aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks. Passing someone on the sidewalk is not considered close contact or a significant risk for exposure to COVID-19.

Individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 or waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19

Follow specific instructions for those with symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Avoid isolating in a place where there are vulnerable people including people who have a medical condition, compromised immune systems, or older adults
  • Leaving your property to go for a walk is not permitted. Stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh air.

Follow general instructions for those on self-isolation:

  • Limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children.
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible.
  • Do not have visitors.
  • Do not leave your place of isolation unless it's to get medical attention.
  • Do not use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis).
  • Do not go to school, work or other public areas.
  • Do not go into the community, including the grocery store and pharmacy.
  • If you need groceries, medication or other essential items, arrange to have a family member, friend, neighbour, or anyone else who is not in self-isolation do this for you. Have items left at the door to minimize contact.
    • *If this is not possible, call 2-1-1 for information on the full range of community, social, government, and health services and programs available in Ottawa, and how to access them.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, practice physical distancing and keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and the other person. 

Monitoring COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own at home.
  • If your symptoms are worsening to a point where you cannot manage at home, go to your nearest emergency department and/or call 911.

Criteria to discontinue self-isolation:

  • While waiting to receive your test result, you must self-isolate at home.
  • Discontinuing self-isolation depends on if you know if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and on your COVID-19 test result. Please refer to the following table for your situation.
Exposure history
Who When COVID-19 Test Positive When COVID-19 Test Negative
Known exposure to a person with COVID-19 

Fourteen (14) days after symptoms started

AND you have no fever

AND your symptoms are improving

Fourteen (14) days after symptoms started

AND you have no fever

AND your symptoms are improving
No known exposure to a person with COVID-19

Fourteen (14) days after symptoms started

AND you have no fever

AND your symptoms are improving
24 hours after symptoms resolve

* Please note: hospitalized patients and health care workers have different criteria for discontinuing self-isolation. Please refer to the Ottawa Public Health Criteria for discharge from self-isolation and return to work for HCWs for more information.  

International travel

  • Please note that if you are returning to Canada from international travel, you MUST self-isolate for fourteen (14) days even if you don’t have common or less common symptoms of COVID-19
  • On March 25, 2020 the Government of Canada issued an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea, or land to self-isolate for 14 days, except essential workers who cross the border.
  • Please see canada.ca/COVID19 for more information. 

Continue physical distancing AFTER your self-isolation has ended – these recommendations apply to all persons: 

  • Keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and other people. 
  • Limit group gatherings.
  • Connect via phone, video chat, or social media instead of in person.
  • Talk to your employer about working from home (if possible).
  • Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential.
  • Keep windows down for essential community trips via taxi or rideshares.
  • You can go outside for a walk, play catch/kick a ball, throw a football, fly a kite, sit on a blanket, grass or lawn chair, or exercise/stretch on a yoga mat, but not in a class (learn more on the new guidelines for the use of City parks). While outside, avoid spitting in public, avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you. Make an effort to step-aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks. Passing someone on the sidewalk is not considered close contact or a significant risk for exposure to COVID-19.

Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., cough, fever, difficulty breathing), use this self-assessment tool to find out how to get further care. Please note that most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own at home.

Follow specific instructions for those with symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Avoid isolating in a place where there are vulnerable people including people who have a medical condition, compromised immune systems, or older adults
  • Leaving your property to go for a walk is not permitted. Stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh air. 

Follow general instructions for those on self-isolation:

  • Limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children.
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible.
  • Do not have visitors.
  • Do not leave your place of isolation unless it's to seek medical attention.
  • Do not use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis).
  • Do not go to school, work or other public areas.
  • Do not go into the community, including the grocery store and pharmacy.
  • If you need groceries, medication or other essential items, arrange to have a family member, friend, neighbour, or anyone else who is not in self-isolation do this for you. Have items left at the door to minimize contact.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, practice physical distancing and keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and the other person. 

Monitoring COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Please note that most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own at home.
  • If your symptoms are worsening to a point where you cannot manage at home, go to your nearest emergency department and/or call 911.

Criteria to discontinue self-isolation:

  • Discontinuing self-isolation depends on if you know if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and on your COVID-19 test result. 
  • Please refer to the following table for your situation. 
Exposure History
Who When
Known exposure to a person with COVID-19 

Fourteen (14) days since your last exposure OR 14 days after your symptoms started, whichever is longer

AND you have no fever

AND your symptoms are improving
No known exposure to a person with COVID-19 

Fourteen (14) days after symptoms started

AND you have no fever

AND your symptoms are improving

* Please note: hospitalized patients and health care workers have different criteria for discontinuing self-isolation. Please refer to the Ottawa Public Health Criteria for discharge from self-isolation and return to work for HCWs for more information. 

International travel

  • Please note that if you are returning to Canada from international travel, you MUST self-isolate for fourteen (14 days) even if you don’t have any common or less common symptoms of COVID-19.
  • On March 25, 2020 the Government of Canada issued an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea, or land to self-isolate for 14 days, except essential workers who cross the border.
  • Please see canada.ca/COVID19 for more information. 

Continue physical distancing AFTER your self-isolation has ended – these recommendations apply to all persons:

  • Keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and other people. 
  • Limit group gatherings.
  • Connect via phone, video chat, or social media instead of in person.
  • Talk to your employer about working from home (if possible).
  • Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential.
  • Keep windows down for essential community trips via taxi or rideshares.
  • You can go outside for a walk, play catch/kick a ball, throw a football, fly a kite, sit on a blanket, grass or lawn chair, or exercise/stretch on a yoga mat, but not in a class (learn more on the new guidelines for the use of City parks). While outside, avoid spitting in public, avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you. Make an effort to step-aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks. Passing someone on the sidewalk is not considered close contact or a significant risk for exposure to COVID-19.

Individuals who have been told they have been in close contact with a case of COVID-19

Who is a close contact?

A "close contact" is a person who has been in near physical proximity to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. "Close contacts" are directly contacted by OPH and receive further guidance. OPH identifies close contacts through a detailed review of factors such as the individual’s symptoms, where they have been, and who they have interacted with. The following people may be considered higher risk or "close contacts";  

  • A person who came within 2 metres (6 feet) of a person who has tested positive; the longer they were within 2 metres the higher the risk*

  • A person who lives within the same household or provides care to a person who has tested positive (e.g., bathing, feeding or dressing)

  • A person with whom a person who has tested positive had close physical contact (e.g., shaking hands, or hugging)

  • A person who may have been coughed or sneezed on by a person who has tested positive 

Other factors may impact the risk of the exposure such as if the interaction occurred inside or outside or how long the interaction was. OPH will discuss these factors when speaking with people who have COVID-19 and their contacts.   

*Interactions where people briefly come within 2 metres (6 feet) of each other, such as walking by someone on the sidewalk, are generally not considered close contacts 

Follow general instructions for those on self-isolation:

  • Limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children.
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible.
  • Do not have visitors.
  • Do not leave your place of isolation unless it's to get medical attention.
  • Do not use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis).
  • Do not go to school, work or other public areas.
  • Do not go into the community, including the grocery store and pharmacy
  • If you need groceries, medication or other essential items, arrange to have a family member, friend, neighbour, or anyone else who is not in self-isolation do this for you. Have items left at the door to minimize contact.
    • *If this is not possible, call 2-1-1 for information on the full range of community, social, government, and health services and programs available in Ottawa, and how to access them.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, practice physical distancing and keep at least 2 metres between yourself and the other person. 

Monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms:

  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19,  use this self-assessment tool to find out how to get further care.
  • Please note that most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own at home.
  • If your symptoms are worsening to a point where you cannot manage at home, go to your nearest emergency department and/or call 911.

Criteria to discontinue self-isolation:

  • Discontinuing self-isolation depends on whether or not you are still in contact with a case of COVID-19. Please refer to the following table for your situation:
Criteria to discontinue self-isolation:
Contact history Criteria

No longer in contact with someone who has COVID-19

(e.g., lives in different household OR lives in same household and can separate by using a separate bedroom and bathroom and can always maintain more than 2 metres distance from the person(s) with COVID-19)

Fourteen (14) days since the last day you had contact with someone who has COVID-19

AND you have not developed any symptoms of COVID-19 

Ongoing contact with someone who has COVID-19

(e.g., lives in same household and unable to separate because you continue to share the same bedroom and/or bathroom)

Fourteen (14) days from the time the person with COVID-19 ends their self-isolation period

AND you have not developed any symptoms of COVID-19 

* Please note: hospitalized patients and health care workers have different criteria for discontinuing self-isolation. Please refer to the Ottawa Public Health Criteria for discharge from self-isolation and return to work for HCWs for more information. 

International travel 

  • Please note that if you are returning to Canada from international travel, you MUST self-isolate for fourteen (14 days) even if you don’t have any common or less common symptoms of COVID-19.
  • On March 25, 2020 the Government of Canada issued an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea, or land to self-isolate for 14 days, except essential workers who cross the border.
  • Please see canada.ca/COVID19 for more information. 

Continue physical distancing AFTER your self-isolation has ended – these recommendations apply to all persons:

  • Keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and other people. 
  • Limit group gatherings.
  • Connect via phone, video chat, or social media instead of in person.
  • Talk to your employer about working from home (if possible).
  • Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential.
  • Keep windows down for essential community trips via taxi or rideshares.
  • You can go outside for a walk, play catch/kick a ball, throw a football, fly a kite, sit on a blanket, grass or lawn chair, or exercise/stretch on a yoga mat, but not in a class (learn more on the new guidelines for the use of City parks). While outside, avoid spitting in public, avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you. Make an effort to step-aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks. Passing someone on the sidewalk is not considered close contact or a significant risk for exposure to COVID-19.

Older adults

  • Ottawa Public Health states that the risk of serious illness f​rom COVID-19 increases progressively with age, particularly beyond 50 years of age. Every individual needs to consider their personal risk factors when making decisions about going out and remember to always be COVIDWise.

Those with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health is strongly urging those with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions to stay at home and self-isolate

Follow general instructions for those on self-isolation:

  • Limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children.
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible.
  • Do not have visitors.
  • Do not leave your place of isolation unless it's to seek medical attention.
  • Do not use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis).
  • Do not go to school, work or other public areas.
  • Do not go into the community, including the grocery store and pharmacy.
  • If you need groceries, medication or other essential items, arranged to have a family member, friend, neighbour, or anyone else who is not in self-isolation do this for you. Have items left at the door to minimize contact.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, practice physical distancing and keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and the other person. 

Developing COVID-19 symptoms:

  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, use the Government of Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment tool to find out how to get further care.
  • If your symptoms are worsening to a point where you cannot manage at home, go to your nearest emergency department and/or call 911

Discontinuing self-isolation:

  • Please follow the Government of Ontario for recommendations for when people with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions can discontinue self-isolation. 

All other Ottawa residents (except those listed above)

Any Ottawa resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can go for testing at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre or COVID-19 Care Clinics and should not be turned away, unless volumes are significant. If volumes are significant, priority will be given to residents from high-risk groups and those showing symptoms.

  • Practice physical distancing.
    • Keep a distance of at least two meters (6 feet) from others.
    • Household contacts (people you live with) do not need to distance from each other unless they are sick or have travelled within the past 14 days.
    • Limit group gatherings.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    • Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hand.
    • Connect via phone, video chat, or social media instead of in-person.
    • Talk to your employer about working from home, if possible.
    • Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential.
    • Keep windows down for essential community trips via taxi or rideshares.
    • You can go outside for a walk, play catch/kick a ball, throw a football, fly a kite, sit on a blanket, grass or lawn chair, or exercise/stretch on a yoga mat, but not in a class (learn more on the new guidelines for the use of City parks). While outside, avoid spitting in public, avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you. Make an effort to step-aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks. Passing someone on the sidewalk is not considered close contact or a significant risk for exposure to COVID-19.

Additional Information to Stay Healthy and Safe

Keep your hands clean:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer), 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.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hand

Learn more on how to stop the spread of germs.

Household cleaning and disinfection:

  • At least once a day, clean and disinfect (using regular household cleaners) “high-touch” surfaces that you touch often, like counters, sink tap handles, toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes.
  • Do not share personal items with others, such as toothbrushes, towels, bed linen, utensils or electronic devices.
  • Put the lid of the toilet down before flushing.
  • Clean more often if surfaces become visibly soiled.
  • Dishes and eating utensils should be cleaned with dish soap and hot water after each use.
  • Use of a dishwasher with a drying cycle also provides enough cleaning.

Waste management:

  • All waste generated can be bagged in a regular plastic bag and disposed of in regular household waste.

Mental health and wellness:

This is a difficult and challenging time for everyone. It’s ok to not be ok. Reach out to the Distress Centre of Ottawa to connect with someone at 613-238-3311 if you need help or are having trouble coping. For more resources, visit our mental health page.

Supplies to have at home when self-isolating:

  • Masks (medical or cloth), only if you have symptoms and the rest of the people at home do not have symptoms
  • Eye protection (face shield or goggles) for use by caregiver
  • Disposable gloves (do not re-use) for use by caregiver
  • Disposable paper towels
  • Tissues
  • Waste container with plastic liner
  • Thermometer
  • Over the counter medication to reduce fever (e.g., acetaminophen)
  • Running water
  • Hand soap
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Dish soap
  • Regular laundry soap
  • Regular household cleaning products
  • Hard-surface disinfectant, or if not available, make a solution of concentrated (5%) liquid bleach and water by mixing 10 mL of bleach with 1 litre of water (2 tsp of bleach with 4 cups of water).

Resources:

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