Advice for when you or someone in your home is sick with COVID-19

Stay at home when you're sick

Stay home and limit your contact with others when you're sick or experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, even if mild. This will help prevent others in your community from getting sick.


Isolation is used to prevent the spread from people who are sick (with or without symptoms) to others.

It's important that you continue to follow the advice of your local public health authority regarding isolation, including:

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Reducing risk of spread in your household

Recommended public health measures to follow

When you're at home sick or in isolation, you should:

Wear a respirator

If you're at home sick or in isolation, wear the best quality and best fitting respirator (like an N95 or KN95) or mask available when you:

Example of types of respirators

Do not wear a respirator or mask if you have trouble breathing while wearing it.

Your caregiver and household members should also wear the best quality and best fitting respirator or mask available to them when:

This is especially important for those who:

If a respirator isn't available in these situations, wear a well-fitting medical mask. If neither are available, properly wear a well-constructed and well-fitting non-medical mask.

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Children under the age of 2 years should not wear masks. Children 2 to 5 years old may be able to wear a mask if they:

Children older than 5 years should wear a mask in the same situations or settings as adults.

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Actions to avoid

If you're at home sick or in isolation, you should avoid or limit:

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Providing care

Ideally, only one person should provide care to someone who is at home sick or in isolation. This will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading to others in the household. If possible, the caregiver shouldn't be at risk of more severe disease or outcomes from COVID-19.

If you're caring for someone, protect yourself by following prevention measures when in direct physical contact or during close interactions, such as:

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Eye protection

Eye protection should not replace the use of a respirator or mask. Wear it over prescription eyeglasses and put it on after putting on a respirator or mask.

To remove eye protection:

  1. wash your hands
  2. remove eye protection by handling:
    • the arms of the safety glasses or goggles or
    • sides or back of a face shield

The front of your protective items are contaminated, so don't touch them.

To discard eye protection:

  1. if disposable: place into a plastic-lined waste container
  2. if reusable: clean it with soap and water and then disinfect it with approved hard-surface disinfectants
    • if unavailable, use a diluted bleach solution
  3. wash your hands

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Disposable gloves

You do not have to wear disposable single-use gloves if you're providing care at home. It's better to regularly wash or sanitize your hands.

If you choose to wear disposable gloves, clean your hands before and after using them when touching:

If your gloves become soiled or torn during care, remove them, clean your hands and put on a new pair.

To remove gloves safely:

  1. pull off the first glove from the fingertips using your opposite hand
  2. as you're pulling, form the glove into a ball within the palm of your gloved hand
  3. slide your ungloved hand in under the wrist of your second glove and gently roll it inside out, and away from your body
  4. avoid touching the outside of the gloves with your bare hands
  5. discard the gloves in a plastic-lined waste container and clean your hands

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Monitoring symptoms and seeking medical care

Everyone in the household, including caregivers who may have come from outside of the household, should watch for new or worsening symptoms.

Call 911 or your local emergency number if you or others develop severe symptoms, such as:

If someone in your household requires emergency medical care:

This includes if you:

While travelling in a private vehicle, follow strict individual public health measures to reduce the risk of spread and:

Public transportation should not be used to seek medical care. If no other option is available, wear the best quality and best fitting respirator (like an N95 or KN95) or mask available.

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Supplies needed if you or someone in your household is sick or isolating at home include:

Recommended hygiene products include:

Read and follow manufacturer's instructions for safe use of cleaning and disinfection products.

Stock your home with supplies in advance in case you or someone in your household needs to stay at home sick or isolate. Reach out to family, friends or neighbours for help if you can't get these supplies yourself. When reaching out, do so in a safe manner by avoiding contact if you can, such as a porch pickup. You can also contact your local public health authority or a community organization for advice, support and resources.

Wherever possible, stay at a place that has access to running water. This will make it easier to practise hand washing, cleaning and disinfecting, and laundering.

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