How do I isolate at home with COVID-19?

Isolation means staying at home when you are waiting for your test results or you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. It is currently mandatory for you to isolate yourself if you return from travel outside Canada. Some provinces have further restrictions if you travel from outside provincial borders or designated "bubbles".

By avoiding contact with other people, you help prevent the spread of disease to others in your home and your community.You must:

  • go directly home and/or stay at home if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19
  • isolate at home if you have returned from travel outside Canada (mandatory)
  • monitor your symptoms as directed by your healthcare provider or Public Health Authority until they advise you that you are no longer at risk of spreading the virus to others
  • immediately contact your healthcare provider or Public Health Authority and follow their instructions if your symptoms get worse

Limit Contact with Others

  • Do not leave home unless it is to seek medical care.
  • Do not use public transportation (such as municipal transit, taxis or ride-share services).
  • 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.
  • Thoroughly and regularly clean and disinfect common areas after use.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, practise physical distancing and keep at least 2 metres between yourself and the other person.
  • Avoid contact with people who are at risk of more severe disease or outcomes.
  • If you are staying in a hotel, do no use shared spaces, such as lobbies, courtyards, restaurants, gyms or pools.
  • Keep any interactions short and wear a mask or facial covering
  • Follow instructions online for the safe use and disposal or laundering of face masks, or as provided by your Public Health Authority.

If you live in a shared space with family or roommates, you must do your best to avoid contaminating shared items and surfaces.

This is a list of generally recommended supplies to have at home when isolating:

  • Medical masks if available for yourself and a caregiver, if unavailable, wear non-medical masks or facial coverings
  • Eye protection (face shield or goggles) for use by a caregiver
  • Disposable gloves (do not re-use) for use by a caregiver
  • Disposable paper towels and tissues
  • Waste container with a plastic liner
  • Thermometer
  • Over the counter medication to reduce fever (e.g., ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
  • Access to running water and hand soap
  • Alcohol-based sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Regular household cleaning products
  • Hard-surface disinfectant
  • Alcohol prep wipes for high-touch electronics

This article contains information from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Last updated: December 11, 2020 4006435