Stay home

There are a number of sources that can identify you as a contact of a confirmed case, such as: public health authorities; the confirmed case; the COVID Alert app; and your child’s school or daycare, etc.

  • Do not go to school or work or to an early childhood or daycare centre or any other public place, such as a store.
  • Do not go out for a walk.
  • The people who live with you can continue their usual activities (work, school, daycare, etc.) if they have not received isolation directions (ex: awaiting test results, contact of confirmed cases, a person living at the same address as a symptomatic person waiting for a test result, return trip, etc.).
  • In general, you are deemed a contact of a confirmed case in the following circumstances:
    • You were less than two metres away from a confirmed case,
    • for at least 15 minutes,
    • without wearing protective equipment.
  • Do not take public transportation.
  • If you have no one that can help you by picking up your groceries and medications, have your supermarket and pharmacy orders delivered and stay at least two metres away from the delivery person.
  • Allow no visitors in your home.
  • If you live with others who have no symptoms and were never sick with COVID‑19:
    • If possible, remain alone in one room of the house, always the same one.
    • Avoid contact with others in the home. Keep a distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and others. Cover your nose and mouth if you need to be closer than 2 metres from someone.
    • If possible, eat and sleep alone in a single room of the home.
    • If possible, use a bathroom that is reserved for you alone. Otherwise, disinfect after each use.
    • Air out the house and your room often by opening a window, weather permitting.
  • You can go outside on your balcony or in your private yard, making sure that you are 2 metres away from any other person.

Cover your nose and mouth

If possible, wear a mask or a face covering over your nose and mouth:

  • Whenever another person is in the same room as you and less than two metres away.
  • Whenever you go out for medical reasons.

To learn how to make and use your own face covering, look at the Wearing a mask or a face covering in public settings in the context of the COVID‑19 pandemic page.

Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing

  • Use a paper facial tissue when you cough, sneeze or blow your nose.
  • Throw the tissue away in the trash as soon as possible then wash your hands thoroughly.
  • If no paper tissues are available, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.

Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is not available and rub your hands together until they are dry.
  • Also wash your hands when they are visibly dirty, before eating and after using the toilet.
  • Close the toilet bowl lid before flushing and be sure to wash your hands.

Do not share personal items

Do not share dishes, utensils, glasses, towels, sheets and/or clothes with anyone else.

Avoid all contact with pets

There is nothing to suggest that pets play a significant role in spreading COVID‑19. However, several cases of transmission between animals and humans have been seen. It is also true that pets exposed to the virus are comparable to potentially contaminated surfaces.

  • Abide by public health recommendations for humans with respect to pets.
  • If possible, ask another person in the home to care for your pets. If this is not possible, carefully wash your hands before and after you touch your pets and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • If possible, keep your pets indoors. If you let them out, use a leash or keep in them in a private fenced-in yard.
  • Tell people that care for your pets to limit physical contact, wash their hands before and after touching them and implement the usual preventive measure for animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans This hyperlink will open in a new window. (in French only).

More information is available at the Q&A for pet owners and custodians.

Watch for symptoms and take your temperature every day

  • Take your temperature every day at the same time of day and note it down. This will be helpful if you need to consult a health care professional.
  • If you are taking fever medicine, wait at least 4 hours before taking your temperature.

What to do if you develop symptoms

If you have symptoms of COVID‑19, a test is generally recommended. Follow one of the steps below to be directed to the appropriate resource.

  • If you, your child or another family member has symptoms of COVID‑19, you can use the COVID‑19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool to get a recommendation as to what you should do, based on your condition.
  • If you are unable to use this tool, are worried or have another health problem, contact 1‑877‑644‑4545 as soon as possible and follow the instructions provided.
  • If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, severe shortness of breath or chest pain, call 911 before going to the emergency room and tell them that you are a contact of a confirmed case of COVID‑19.

To make the best possible decisions for your health and that of your loved ones during the COVID‑19 pandemic, consult the Self-Care Guides. They will tell you the best ways to protect yourself from COVID‑19, take care of yourself, provide basic care to family members and friends and where and when to consult if you need care or services.

In all cases:

  • Write down the date the first symptom appeared. This information will help determine when preventive isolation will be over.
  • If you have to go to a medical clinic or hospital, wear a mask or face covering and inform staff as soon as you arrive that you are a contact of a confirmed case of COVID‑19.

If you need help with your daily tasks

If you need help with your daily tasks like eating, going to the toilet and getting around the house, ideally, your helper will always be the same person, who should be less than 70 years of age, in good health and have no chronic heart or lung or kidney disease, diabetes, major obesity (BMI > 40), weakened immune system or be in treatment for cancer.

You should always wear a mask or face covering over your nose and mouth whenever someone else is in the same room and less than 2 metres away.

Before any person helps you, they must:

  1. Wash their hands.
  2. Wear a mask or face covering or cover their nose and mouth.
  3. Wear disposable gloves.

After helping you, they must:

  1. Remove their gloves and dispose of them in a closed container out of reach of children.
  2. Wash their hands.
  3. Remove the mask or the face covering.
    1. Place the face covering in a closed bag and keep it out of the reach of children until it can be washed normally.
    2. Disposable masks should always be placed in a closed garbage bag or can.
  4. Wash their hands again.

If a parent or caregiver is required to assist a young child with daily activities

If you need to assist a young child with daily activities (for example, helping them eat, to go to the bathroom, to move around the house, etc.), ideally, the same person should always care for the child. This person should be under the age of 70, be in good health, not be under treatment for cancer, and not have a chronic illness such as heart or respiratory disease, kidney failure, diabetes, severe obesity (BMI > 40), or a weakened immune system.

When a person is in the same room as the child and within 2 metres, the child must wear a mask or face covering that covers the nose and mouth. If this is not possible (e.g., young child), the caregiver must wear a mask or face covering and practise hand hygiene. During meals, it is suggested that the child eat alone, if possible, or stay at least 2 meters away from other family members during the entire meal. If this is not possible (e.g., young child), the caregiver must wear a mask or face covering and practise hand hygiene.

Ideally, the caregiver should wash their hands before and after caring for the child.

After helping the child, the caregiver must:

  • If necessary, remove their mask or face covering.
    • Place the face covering in a closed bag out of the reach of children until it is routinely washed.
    • If a disposable mask is used, place it in a closed garbage can.
  • Wash their hands again.

Laundry and housecleaning

The sick person’s sheets, towels, clothing and face coverings used to cover the nose and mouth can usually be washed with other household laundry. However, they should be washed separately if soiled with vomit, etc.

  • Wash with hot water.
  • Wear disposable gloves to avoid direct contact between your skin and clothes and the sick person’s clothing, sheets and towels.
  • Do not shake out dirty laundry before washing.

The sick person’s utensils and dishes can be washed with your usual liquid detergent or in the dishwasher.

The sick person’s trash can be bagged and thrown out with the other household trash. Firmly close the lid of the garbage pail or close the bag tightly.

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water:

  • After contact with the sick person or objects and surfaces touched by them like a bedside table, dishes, etc.
  • Before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet and whenever your hands are visibly dirty
  • if you have no access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based disinfectant.

Clean and disinfect the following at least once a day:

  • Objects and surfaces frequently touched by the sick person, such as door handles, a bedside table, other furniture in the room and the bed frame
  • The bathroom and toilet

If a surface is clean, apply the disinfectant.

If not, first wash with soap and water to remove all dirt and grime, rinse with clean water and dry with a clean cloth before applying the disinfectant.

Leave the disinfectant to act for a few minutes (follow the instructions on the label) then wipe off completely with a clean cloth.

Special cleaning instructions:

  • Wear impermeable gloves at all times.
  • Wash your hands and forearms for 20 seconds before putting on the gloves and after removing them.
  • Wash the gloves with detergent and water then let them dry before re-use, or replace them with a new pair as you see fit.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water again for 20 seconds.

Cleaning and disinfecting products

Use soap and water or household cleaners. Use your regular disinfectant or a mix of 1 part domestic bleach to 9 parts cold water (e.g., 1 cup bleach mixed with 9 cups water).

If possible, have the sick clean and disinfect their own rooms and surfaces themselves.

Call Info-Social 811

Call Info-Social 811 (24/7 Psychosocial Hotline) if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Lasting emotional reactions (frequent crying, irritability, etc.)
  • Feelings of panic
  • Ideas that never leave you alone, never cease and frighten you
  • Social repercussions of COVID‑19

Psychosocial health professionals will provide support and share information and advice as needed. To help you minimize the repercussions of these kinds of reactions on your life, see the Stress, anxiety and depression associated with the coronavirus COVID‑19 disease.

COVID-19 and preventive home self-isolation

COVID‑19 is a disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Read here about the symptoms of COVID‑19 and the modes of transmission.

It’s important to obey preventive home isolation recommendations to avoid infecting others.

When is it OK to stop preventive self-isolating at home?

The following recommendations must be followed unless otherwise advised by public health authorities.

If you are a health worker, you should contact your place of work for instructions on when and how to end your quarantine and return to work.

If you do not develop symptoms, you can end your preventive quarantine 14 days after your last contact with a confirmed case of COVID‑19. If you live in the same home as that person, you can end your isolation period as follows:

  • 14 days after the recommended measures were implemented by public health authorities.
  • 14 days after the quarantine of that person was lifted if the recommended measures were not implemented by public health authorities.

During your isolation period, if you have not tested positive for COVID-19, other family members do not need to be isolated if they do not have symptoms or received other isolation instructions.

If you do develop symptoms, getting tested is still recommended. While waiting for your test result, you and the people who live with you must isolate yourself. If you test positive, you need to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of your symptoms. You can end your isolation when you meet all the following conditions:

  • 10 days have passed since your symptoms started.
  • You have not had a fever for at least 48 hours, without using fever medication.
  • Your symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours, except for cough and loss of smell, which can last longer.

In all cases, you must adhere to a period of preventive isolation of 14 days after your last contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, even if you have a negative test result for COVID-19.

Whether you have symptoms or not, if your test result is positive, see the Instructions for people with COVID‑19 in home isolation page.

No document (eg certificate) or procedure should be required after a period of isolation. Once the duration of this is over, you can resume your activities, if the other conditions are met.

If in doubt, call the 1‑877‑644‑4545 hotline or read the COVID‑19 Self-Care Guide.

If your symptoms do not improve, please contact Info-Santé 811, which is available 24/7.