by Nathan Couvillon

As the province continues to report ‘record setting cases’, prioritization for testing has been implemented and isolation protocols amended for those that are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated. Here are some quick facts and a chart to assist you in determining whether you need to isolate, test and for how long.

Symptomatic individuals who are ineligible for PCR/rapid molecular testing are advised to self-isolate as soon as possible after symptom onset. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, assume that you may have the virus and may be contagious.

Symptoms include:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • decreased or loss of taste or smell
  • two or more of:
  • runny nose or nasal congestion
  • headache
  • extreme fatigue
  • sore throat
  • muscle aches or joint pain
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (such as vomiting or diarrhea)

If you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must isolate for five days if you are fully vaccinated and otherwise healthy, or are under 12 years of age.

You can end isolation after five days only if your symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours, and all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed. If your symptoms are not in the list above, stay home until you feel better for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if the symptoms affect the digestive system).

If you are not fully vaccinated or are immunocompromised, you and anyone you live with must isolate for 10 days.

If you are work or live in a high risk-health care setting, including hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes, congregate living settings, you must notify your employer and isolate for 10 days from their your exposure or symptom onset, or from your date of diagnosis. To ensure sufficient staffing levels, workers in these settings will have the opportunity to return to work early on day seven of their isolation, with a negative PCR test, or two negative rapid antigen tests on day six and seven.

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