Have COVID-19, symptoms or been exposed
What to do if you have COVID-19, symptoms, or have been exposed to a person with COVID-19.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19, take the online self-assessment to help you determine what to do next.
If you have questions about your specific situation, call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700. (Caledon 905-584-2216.) Our call centre is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may be different for each person and it's important that you do not ignore symptoms, even if they are mild.
Look for symptoms that are new, getting worse, or different than usual for you. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate immediately.
1 of the following symptoms:
- fever or chills
- shortness of breath
- decrease or loss of sense of smell or taste
Or, 2 or more of the following symptoms:
- extreme fatigue
- muscle aches or joint pain
- gastrointestinal symptoms (such as vomiting or diarrhea)
- sore throat
- runny nose or stuffy nose
If you do not have symptoms as listed, it’s less likely that you have COVID-19.
You should self-isolate until you do not have a fever and your symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours, or 48 hours for any gastrointestinal symptoms. Your household members do not need to self-isolate.
If you have symptoms as listed, it’s assumed that you have COVID-19 and you must self-isolate immediately. Follow the instructions for individuals with COVID-19.
Use a rapid antigen test if you have access to one, or access PCR testing if you are eligible.
- If it’s positive, it is highly likely that you have COVID-19. Follow the instructions for individuals with COVID-19.
- A single negative test does not mean that you do not have COVID-19. If 2 consecutive rapid antigen tests, separated by 24 to 48 hours are both negative, you are less likely to have COVID-19. You should self-isolate until you do not have a fever and your symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours, or 48 hours for any gastrointestinal symptoms.
If you require clinical assessment of your symptoms, you can visit a COVID, Cold and Flu Clinic. Learn more about when to seek medical help and finding a COVID, Cold and Flu Clinic near you.
You can also learn more about COVID-19 antiviral treatments and if they are right for you from the Ontario government.
If you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, follow these directions from the Ontario government.
If you have been exposed to someone who you do not live with who has symptoms of COVID-19 or who tested positive for COVID-19, you may be a close contact.
You’re a close contact if:
- You were less than 2 metres from them for at least 15 minutes, or for multiple shorter periods of time without personal protective equipment
- You were exposed to them within 48 hours before they developed symptoms or before their test date, whichever came first
- Or, you have been identified as a close contact by public health
If you are a close contact, follow these directions from the Ontario government.
You have COVID-19 if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you tested positive on a PCR, rapid point-of-care molecular, or rapid antigen test.
If you tested positive on a rapid antigen test, you generally do not require a PCR test for confirmation, and you do not need to report your test results to Peel Public Health.
Take the following actions:
- Self isolate as indicated by the Ontario government.
- In certain situations, you may be contacted by public health. If you are contacted by public health by phone or by text message, follow the instructions that are provided to you. All information collected is kept confidential and is protected by Ontario’s strict privacy laws.
- Notify your close contacts of their potential exposure to COVID-19. Get more information on how to determine who is a close contact, and their next steps.
- Individuals with COVID-19 should isolate away from household members to avoid ongoing exposure. Children or those requiring support with daily living can isolate together with a caregiver. Get details about how to self-isolate and resources available to help you.
Notify your workplace
- Notify your workplace and follow the instructions given to you by your employer or occupational health department.
- If you work, live or volunteer in a highest risk setting including hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes or congregate living settings, you must notify them and follow the instructions given to you by them.
- Employees do not require a negative PCR, rapid antigen test, or medical documentation to return to work.
Managing your symptoms
- Contact your health care provider for information on eligibility for COVID-19 treatments.
- If your symptoms get worse, talk to a health care provider, or contact Health Connect Ontario (formerly Telehealth Ontario) at 811.
- If you have any severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain or feeling faint, call 911 or go to the emergency department. Refer to more information on when to seek medical help.
Ending your self-Isolation
- You can end your self-isolation when you have completed your self-isolation period, you do not have a fever and your symptoms have been improving for 24 hours or 48 hours for gastrointestinal symptoms.
- For 10 days after symptom onset (or 20 days for immunocompromised individuals): maintain masking in public settings, do not visit or work in any highest risk settings, do not visit vulnerable individuals such as immunocompromised individuals or seniors.