Mandatory Self-Isolation

Last modified: 
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 13:37

Self-isolation means staying in your place of isolation (home) and limiting your contact with others. It is a good way to help prevent the spread of infections like COVID-19.

On this page

When you are exposed to an illness, there is a time between the exposure and when you start to feel sick. This incubation period can be up to 14 days for COVID-19. Not everyone who is exposed will get sick, but it is important to wait the full 2 weeks to be sure you are not infected and spreading it to others without knowing.

There is a chance you can spread the germs before you feel sick, as many people have very mild symptoms at the start of their sickness or some may have no symptoms at all. This means that if you do start to feel sick or are infected without symptoms, by staying away from public places you lower the chance of spreading the virus to others.

Who should mandatorily self-isolate?

  • You have symptoms even mild
  • You have symptoms and have been tested for COVID-19
  • You return from travel outside of the Northwest Territories but from within Canada
  • Any travel from an affected area within Canada
  • You believe you were exposed to COVID-19
  • A health care provider tells you that you were exposed to a person with COVID-19 (those living in the same household as a confirmed COVID-19 case may receive different direction)
  • Participated in a gathering where COVID-19 transmission occurred
  • A health care provider asks you to self-isolate for other reasons
  • If you are an essential worker, please contact your health care provider for additional guidance

How long should I mandatorily self-isolate for?

You will need to mandatorily self-isolate and monitor yourself for symptoms for at least 14 days when you enter the NWT or since your last possible contact with COVID-19. If you still have symptoms after 14 days you should continue to self-isolate and let your health care provider know. Your health care provider may ask you to self-isolate for longer than 14 days (e.g. you are living with someone who has COVID-19).

If you have no known exposure to COVID-19 (e.g. travel outside NWT or contact) you may only need to self-isolate for 10 days. You should check with your health care provider and follow their advice.

Follow the advice of your health care provider.

You may be contacted each day during your self-isolation to monitor your symptoms.

For general questions or if you develop new or worsening symptoms, contact a health care provider.

If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 and let them know that you are self-isolating for COVID-19.

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

What is mandatory self-isolation?

Mandatory self-isolation means staying in your place of isolation (home), limiting your contact with others, and following the advice below.

Stay home

You must avoid situations where you could infect others. This means staying away from:

  • work
  • school
  • childcare centres
  • grocery stores
  • pharmacies 
  • out on the land
  • outdoor visits or any other public spaces.

If you have symptoms, this also includes staying away from other members of your household

You may go outdoors for fresh air when by yourself. Do not use public transportation, taxis, or share a car.

If you do not have any symptoms, you may go outdoors for fresh air when by yourself or with members of your household. Do not use public transportation, taxis, or share a car. Do not have face-to-face contact (within 2 metres) with anyone while outdoors.

If you must run an urgent errand by yourself (e.g. picking up a medication), contact a care group in your local area first for support. If not available wear a face covering or mask to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

No visitors

  • Do not have visitors to your home. It is okay for friends, family, or delivery drivers to drop food off or other things you may need as long as they stay 2 metres away.
  • Avoid contact with older adults and other people with chronic medical conditions (e.g. immune deficiencies, lung problems, heart disease, diabetes).

Keep your distance

  • Stay away from other household members (at least 2 meters apart) as much as possible and use a separate bathroom if you have one. If you must share toilet facilities, they should be cleaned daily.
  • Avoid sharing household items. You should not share drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, pillows or other items with people in your home. After using these items you should clean them.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or cough or sneeze into your sleeve/elbow.
  • You and other household members should follow healthy respiratory practices.
  • Throw used tissues immediately into the garbage and wash your hands.
  • You can wear a face covering or mask to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Wash your hands

  • You and your family should wash your hands frequently.
  • Wash them after coughing or sneezing, if they are dirty, using the bathroom, or before eating.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer if water is not available.

Be careful when touching garbage

  • All waste can go into regular garbage bins.
  • When emptying the garbage, take care to not touch used tissues with your hands. Lining the garbage with a plastic bag makes waste disposal easier and safer.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water after emptying the garbage.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean your home with regular household cleaners.
  • Clean regularly touched items such as toilets, sink taps, handles, doorknobs, light switches, cellphones, bedside tables, etc. on a daily basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Related Information