Information for Manitobans
 

Self-Isolation (Quarantine) and Isolation


Showing symptoms or exposed to COVID-19?

It's CRITICAL to follow public health advice when self-isolating (quarantining) or isolating to keep COVID-19 from spreading.


What is the difference between self-isolation (quarantine) and isolation?

Self-isolation, or quarantine, is the 14-day period in which individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but do not yet know if they are sick, are asked to stay away from others to limit further spread. It may take up to 14 days to become infected. Even if you do not have symptoms now, it is possible to transmit COVID-19 before you start showing symptoms or without ever developing symptoms.

Isolation is the 10-day period in which individuals who are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19 are required to stay away from others who are not sick because they could spread COVID-19. Most people are infectious for ten days after their symptoms begin.


On this page:


Variants of Concern and Self-Isolation (Quarantine) and Isolation

With the detection of variants of concern (VOC) in Manitoba, more aggressive public health measures are needed for all cases to limit their spread and allow more time to immunize the population.

By following public health advice, including self-isolation (quarantine) you can protect yourself, your loved ones and people in the community. It's CRITICAL to follow public health advice when self-isolating (quarantining) or isolating to keep COVID-19 from spreading.

Once someone has been tested, public health officials are advising that the entire household needs to self-isolate (quarantine) while waiting for COVID-19 test results. In addition, households with a positive case who chooses to isolate at home may need to isolate/self-isolate (quarantine) for up 24 days if they can’t isolate away from other household members. Options to reduce this impact should be discussed with the public health .




What is Self-Isolation (quarantine) and why is it important

Self-isolation, or quarantine, is the 14-day period in which individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19, through close contact or travel, but do not yet know if they are sick are asked to stay away from others to limit further spread if they should test positive for COVID-19. It may take up to 14 days to become infected. Even if you do not have symptoms now, it is possible to transmit COVID-19 before you start showing symptoms or without ever developing symptoms.

If you become symptomatic during your self-isolation (quarantine), you will need to get tested and must continue self-isolating. If you do not have any symptoms after your 14-day self-isolation (quarantine) period and you have tested negative, you can stop self-isolating.

How it works:


Day 1 - image of a person being exposed to someone who has COVID-19

Day 1 - Hailey is advised that she was a close contact to someone with COVID-19 and is instructed to self-isolate for 14 days and to get tested if symptoms develop.


Day 1 - image of a person being exposed to someone who has COVID-19

Day 2 - Hailey goes to get tested while she is showing no symptoms.

Day 5 - Hailey receives a negative test result.


Day 1 - image of a person being exposed to someone who has COVID-19

Day 7 - Thinking she didn’t have COVID-19 and that she wasn’t contagious, Hailey attends a gathering and is in close contact with 13 people.


Day 1 - image of a person being exposed to someone who has COVID-19

Day 9 - Hailey develops symptoms of COVID-19 and gets tested again.


Day 1 - image of a person being exposed to someone who has COVID-19

Day 11 - Hailey tests positive for COVID-19.


Hailey was contagious for 48 hours before her symptoms started, and she exposed 13 people to COVID-19.  Through contact tracing these people have been identified as her close contacts and are now required to self-isolate (quarantine) for 14 days.

COVID-19 spreads easily if given the chance, this is why it is important to self-isolate (quarantine) for the full for 14 days. Only get tested if you develop symptoms or are advised by a public health official to go for testing.




When to Self-Isolate (Quarantine)

It's CRITICAL to SELF-ISOLATE (quarantine) when:

  • You have recently returned to Manitoba from domestic or international travel
  • You have been identified as a close contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case
  • You live with a household member who is self-isolating (quarantining) due to exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case or recent return from domestic or international travel
  • You share a household with a COVID-19 case who is currently isolating at home



What is Isolation and why is it important

Isolation is the 10-day period in which individuals who are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19 are required to stay away from others who are not sick because they could spread COVID-19. Most people are infectious for ten days after their symptoms begin.
If you’re still symptomatic at day 10, you will need to continue isolating.




When to Isolate

It’s CRITICAL to ISOLATE when:

  • You have tested positive for COVID-19
  • You have been tested and are waiting for your test results
  • You have COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of whether you have been exposed through travel or contact with a case



How to Self-Isolation (Quarantine)

Stay away from others if you have cold or flu-like symptoms, even if you have not been exposed to COVID-19.

Follow these important steps to properly self-isolate and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others in your home and your community:

  • Avoid contact with other people.
  • Stay at home.
    • In a room or on a separate floor away from household members.
    • Stay away from common areas in the home.
    • Use a separate bathroom, if possible. If it is not possible, clean the shared bathroom frequently.
    • Wear a medical mask and stay two metres (six feet) away from others if you must leave your room or floor for necessary reasons, including using the bathroom.
    • Avoid contact with pets in your home.
  • Clean your hands regularly.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
      • Before and after preparing food (avoid preparing food for others)
      • Before and after eating
      • After using the toilet
      • After touching shared household items (e.g., dishes, towels, etc.)
      • Before and after touching/using a face mask
    • After disposing of waste (e.g. a tissue) or handling contaminated laundry
    • Whenever hands look dirty.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze.
    • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue.
    • Throw used tissues in the garbage and immediately wash your hands, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid sharing household and personal items.
    • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, serving/eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items.
    • Do not share cigarettes or other items that are put in the mouth.
  • Keep your environment clean.
    • Clean and disinfect high touch areas (toilets, taps, light switches, doorknobs, TVs, phones, electronics and TV remotes) at least twice daily, or as needed.
    • Use store bought disinfectant. If disinfectant is not available, use a diluted bleach solution (20 ml [four teaspoons] bleach for every litre of water) and allow the surface to remain wet for one minute before scrubbing.
    • Clean and disinfect shared bathrooms or common areas frequently.
    • Use hot water when operating the dishwasher or washing machine.
  • Make sure your home has good airflow.
    • Open the window, as weather allows.
  • Confine activities to your home and outdoor property.
  • Do not leave home to go to work, school or other public places.
  • Do not attend faith-based services.
  • Arrange to have groceries and supplies dropped off at your door. Do not go to curbside pickup from stores and restaurants.
  • Do not have any visitors to your home. 
  • Cancel or notify service providers who regularly come into your home that a household member is sick.
  • Consult with home care workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, and other service providers that come to your home about the best action for care.

Leave your home if you need emergency or urgent medical care.

When Self-Isolation Ends:

Self-isolation is for 14 days, total. This means your self-isolation period ends on the 15th day after you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or returned for Manitoba. For example, if your Day One was March 28, your self-isolation ends on April 11. If you have no symptoms, this means you can stop self-isolating on April 12.

However, you should continue to focus on the fundamentals, including physical distancing, wearing masks and washing your hands.




How-to Isolate?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and/or have been confirmed through laboratory testing as confirmed COVID-19 case, you should stay at home and avoid contact with other people to prevent spreading COVID-19 in your community.

If you have household members, they will be considered close contacts and required to self-isolate (quarantine). The duration of their self-isolation (quarantine) period will depend on your ability to isolate away from them.

If you are able to isolate away from your household members (e.g. separate living space and washroom and no shared spaces, including the kitchen) and have no close contact with them, they will be required to self-isolate (quarantine) for 14 days from their last contact with you. Testing to ensure there hasn’t been household transmission is required to end their isolation at 14 days.

If you are unable to isolate away from your household members (e.g. shared spaces), they will need to self-isolate (quarantine) for your isolation period (usually 10 days), plus 14 days after you end your isolation. This means that household members will need to stay at home and not go out to work, school or other places for at least 24 days.

If some household members become cases, this period could be even longer. To minimize the potential impact on your household members, you should discuss alternative isolation options with your public health nurse that will allow you to isolate away from your household members and shorten their self-isolation (quarantine) period to 14 days after their last contact with you.

If you must isolate at home, the following measures should be followed, and may minimize the risk of exposing other household members.

  • Stay in your own room, on a separate floor if possible
  • Use your own bathroom, if not possible, ensure frequent cleaning and disinfection
  • If you must leave your room/ floor wear a medical mask and keep 2 meters/ 6 feet away from other household members
  • Confine activities to your home and outdoor property
  • Do not leave home to go to work, school or other public spaces
  • Do not attend faith-based services
  • Arrange to have groceries and supplies dropped off at your door. Do not go to curbside pickup from stores and restaurants
  • Do not have any visitors to your home
  • Cancel service providers who regularly come into your home. Consult with home care workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, and any other providers that come to your home about the bets action for care
  • Only leave you home if you need emergency or urgent medical care



Exemptions

Exemptions to the new, more aggressive public health measures, include:

  • Contacts and household members who are asymptomatic and fully immunized (i.e. two weeks since their last dose) OR recently infected (i.e. within the previous 3 months). These individuals may be exempt from self-isolation (quarantine)/ isolation requirements, as long as they do not have medical conditions that compromise their immune response, however they should continue to self-monitor for symptoms, and isolate immediately if any develop and go for testing.
  • Asymptomatic household members of a close contact or traveller, may also be exempt from self-isolation (quarantine), provided they are an essential worker required to wear PPE at work (for questions about PPE, consult your workplace’s worker safety and health committee), and the close contact in the household is asymptomatic and can self-isolate away from the essential worker. These household members should still self-isolate (quarantine) when not at work. .  This exemption also only applies to household members of a close contact or traveller, and does not apply to essential workers who are identified as close contacts themselves.  



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