Isolation (Isolation for those with symptoms, contact, or confirmed COVID-19)

Last modified: 
12/21/2020 - 07:48

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What is isolation and why is it necessary?

Isolation means staying in your place of isolation which can include an isolation centre, alternative locations or in a designated area of your home (if possible). This is to prevent preading the virus to others in your home and community. DO NOT leave your property unless you need to seek medical attention

Who needs to be in isolation?

  • Those who are confirmed to be COVID-19 positive,
  • Those who are close contacts of someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19,
  • Those who have had an exposure to COVID-19 and who are now symptomatic,
  • Those who become symptomatic with COVID-19 symptoms and have travelled, or
  • Any household member of anyone required to isolate.

How do I isolate?

Follow all advice given to you by your health care provider.

You are NOT to leave your property unless you need to seek medical attention. If you have symptoms, you cannot leave your house.

Stay home

  • This includes staying away from other members of their household.
  • If you do not have symptoms, you may go outdoors on your own property but CANNOT leave property.
  • If you have symptoms, you CANNOT leave your home NOT even to go outside on your property.
  • You CANNOT run errands, but if you must seek medical care you must wear a non-medical mask and take private transit or a taxi (no public transit) to the hospital or medical appointment.
  • Anyone in your home who becomes symptomatic must also stay home

No visitors

  • You are not permitted to have visitors.
  • This means no visitors inside your home or outside on your property.
  • It is okay for people to make deliveries to drop off food or items as long as they maintain 2 metres (6 feet) distance and time is limited to 15 minutes or less.
  • Do not gather with other households who are isolating

Keep 2 metres (6 feet) distance

  • Stay away from other household members at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart) as much as possible and use a separate bathroom.
  • If you must share a bathroom, it should be cleaned daily and after each use.
  • Avoid sharing household items such as eating utensils, shampoo, soap, pillows or other items.

Cover your coughs and sneezes 

  • Cover nose and mouth with tissue when coughing or sneezing or cough or sneeze into sleeve/elbow.
  • You and household members should follow healthy respiratory practices.
  • Throw used tissues immediately into a lined garbage bin and wash hands.
  • Wear a non-medical mask to reduce risk of spreading infection when in common areas or around others.

Practice hand hygiene

  • You and household members should practice hand hygiene frequently.

  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing and if they are dirty.

  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or at least 20 seconds when using alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Be careful when touching garbage
  • All waste can go into a regular lined garbage bin.
  • When emptying garbage, take care not to touch used tissues.
  • Practice hand hygiene after emptying garbage.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean place of isolation with regular household cleaners.

  • Clean regularly touched items such as toilets, sink taps, handles, door knobs, light switches, cellphones, bedsidetables, etc. on a daily basis and after each use.

  • Family members who must care for an individual with COVID-19 are advised to follow the “Care in the Home” guidance

Do Household Members Need to Isolate?

  • If household members are living in a home with a case or contact of COVID19 they are required to isolate in a separate location in the home from the individual.
  • Family members who must care for an individual with COVID-19 should be advised to follow the “Care in the Home” guidance found here
  • Essential workers will not be permitted to work if they have a known exposure to COVID-19 or a contact is isolating in the same residence. Essential workers will not be permitted to work if others are isolating at the same household. Click for more information. 

How long do I have to be in isolation?

If YOU tested positive for COVID-19:

The health care provider, in consultation with the Chief Public Health Officer or delegate, will notify
you as to when you can come off isolation. Their assessment will include the following:

  • A minimum of 10 days since onset of symptoms, and
  • No COVID-19 symptoms.

A health care provider may extend the length of isolation.

If you were in CONTACT with a person who tested positive for COVID-19:

  • Completion of 14 days of isolation, and
  • Did not develop any symptoms of COVID-19.

If you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, isolation may be longer than 14 days.

Household contacts who must care for and are not able to keep distant from the COVID-19 positive case will have to isolate for 14 days past the last day they are in contact with the case. This means that isolation may be for up to 28 days or longer.

If you have been tested for COVID-19, but have no known exposures or travel within the last 14 days: 

Your health care provider may discontinue isolation once:

  • You have received a negative COVID-19 test result as-communicated by a health care provider

  • You do not have a fever

  • Your symptoms have improved

Always follow the advice of your health care provider. They are trained to recognize risk and may require you to isolate for a longer period of time if there is any reason for concern. 

Mental health supports

If you are having a hard time or are feeling down, support is a phone call away.

  • NWT Helpline: 1-800-661-0844
  • NWT Family Violence: 867-767-9061
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Frequently Asked Questions

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