Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): How to isolate at home when you have COVID-19

Isolation means staying at home when you have symptoms of with COVID-19 and avoiding contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease to others in your home and your community.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19, it is expected that you take the following measures.

Limit contact with others

  • Do not leave home unless absolutely necessary, such as to seek medical care.
  • Do not go to school, work, other public areas or use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis).
  • Arrange to have groceries and supplies dropped off at your door to minimize contact.
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, keep at least 2 metres between yourself and the other person. Keep interactions brief and wear a face mask.
  • Avoid contact with individuals with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems and older adults.  
  • Avoid contact with pets if you live with other people that may also be touching the pet.

Keep your hands clean

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm or into a tissue.

Avoid contaminating common items and surfaces

  • At least once daily, clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch often, like 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.
  • Use a store bought disinfectant to disinfect.
  • Place contaminated items that cannot be cleaned in a lined container, secure the contents and dispose of them with other household waste.
  • Put the lid of the toilet down before flushing.

Care for yourself

  • Monitor your symptoms as directed by your health care provider or public health authority.
  • If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your health care provider or public health authority and follow their instructions.
  • Get some rest, eat a balanced diet and stay in touch with others through communication devices.

Supplies to have at home when isolating

  • Face masks (do not re-use)
  • Eye protection
  • Disposable gloves (do not re-use)
  • Disposable paper towels
  • Tissues
  • Waste container with plastic liner
  • Thermometer
  • Over the counter medication to reduce fever (e.g., ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
  • Running water
  • Hand soap
  • Alcohol-based sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Dish soap
  • Regular laundry soap
  • Regular household cleaning products
  • Store bought disinfectant
  • Bleach and a separate container for dilution
  • Alcohol prep wipes
  • Arrange to have your groceries delivered to you

We can all do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. For more information, visit Canada.ca/coronavirus or contact .

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