Instructions for individuals who test positive for COVID-19

Last updated: January 18, 2022

Note about COVID-19 testing: COVID-19 PCR test criteria and eligibility is set out by the Ontario government. Before seeking out a COVID-19 PCR test, please read the list of individuals eligible for a PCR test. As of January 18, pregnant people, first responders (including fire, police and paramedics) and household members of individuals working in high-risk settings can also get a PCR test if they are symptomatic. Individuals seeking a PCR test may be asked to show proof of eligibility before a test is administered. 

Individuals who are eligible for a PCR test can get one at Michael Garron Hospital's COVID-19 Assessment Centre by appointment or walk-in or at one of our COVID-19 Outreach Centres by walk-in. PCR testing is also available at other sites in the Toronto region.

IF YOU TEST POSITIVE ON A POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION (PCR) TEST OR RAPID ANTIGEN TEST (RAT)

  • Self-isolate: 
    • You are potentially contagious for 10 days after symptom onset (or date of test if asymptomatic). If feasible, it is best to isolate for a full 10 days. Even though you may be able to come out of isolation earlier than 10 days, you need to be careful around vulnerable people. You should minimize contacts, always wear a mask and consult your employer, especially if you work in a healthcare setting.   
    • For fully vaccinated individuals and children under 12 years of age: You must self-isolate for five days starting from when your symptoms began (or from the date of your test if not symptomatic). Self-isolation can end after five days if symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms), and all public health and safety measures, such as distancing and masking, are followed. All household contacts are required to isolate for the same time period. If anyone in your household develops symptoms, they must isolate for 5-10 days (based on age, vaccine status and immunocompromised status) from symptom onset, using the above criteria to discontinue isolation (symptoms improving for 24 to 48 hours).
    • For unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals aged 12 and older, and immunocompromised individuals: You are required to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of your test or the onset of symptoms (whichever came sooner). All household contacts are required to isolate for the same time period. If anyone in your household develops symptoms, they must isolate for 5-10 days (based on age, vaccine status and immunocompromised status) from symptom onset, using the above criteria to discontinue isolation (symptoms improving for 24 to 48 hours).

See full self-isolation guidelines here.

  • Contact trace: If you had symptoms, you were contagious to other people during the two days before your symptoms began. If you had no symptoms, you were contagious to other people during the two days before your test date. Every person you were with indoors during this time has been exposed to COVID-19. You must contact these individuals and let them know that you have tested positive for COVID-19:
    • Fully vaccinated individuals must self-monitor for 10 days from the time of their last contact with you. If they develop symptoms, please follow the instructions above.
    • Unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or immunocompromised individuals must self-isolate for 10 days following your last contact.
  • Rest: There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. However, most people who get it will recover on their own following self-isolation. Typical treatment for common coronaviruses includes drinking plenty of fluids, getting as much rest and sleep as possible, and using a humidifier or taking a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough. If you continue to experience symptoms after 10 days, please contact your primary care provider. If at any point you experience severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath at rest, please seek emergency medical care. 
  • Find support: There are financial, mental health and other supports available during the COVID-19 pandemic, including for individuals who are self-isolating. See all supports available here.

Due to an overwhelming number of positive COVID-19 cases, Michael Garron Hospital’s clinicians may not have the capacity to speak to you directly about your positive PCR test result despite our best efforts. We are prioritizing individuals in our follow-up who are at highest risk for complications from COVID-19. If you need more information about COVID-19, please see the resources below.

EDUCATION ABOUT COVID-19 

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