Peel Region homepage
Peel Region
Go
main

Tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms or been exposed

What to do if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms, or have been exposed to a person with COVID-19.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19, take the online self-assessment to help you determine what to do next.

If you have questions about your specific situation, call Ontario’s Provincial Testing, Isolation and Information hotline. The hotline can be reached at 1-888-777-0730 and is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Other information

Symptoms of COVID-19 may be different for each person and it's important that you do not ignore them, even if they are mild. Look for symptoms that are new, getting worse, or different than usual for you.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate and get tested.

COVID-19 symptoms

1 of the following symptoms:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • decrease or loss of sense of smell or taste

Or, 2 or more of the following symptoms:

  • extreme fatigue
  • muscle aches or joint pain
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (such as vomiting or diarrhea)
  • sore throat
  • runny nose or stuffy nose
  • headache

Get tested

Use a rapid antigen test or access PCR testing if you are eligible.

  • If your rapid antigen test is positive, it is highly likely that you have COVID-19. Follow the instructions for individuals with COVID-19.
  • A single negative rapid antigen test does not mean that you do not have COVID-19. If 2 consecutive rapid antigen tests, separated by at least 24 hours are both negative, you are less likely to have COVID-19.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms

  • Self-isolate as indicated by the Ontario government.
  • Isolate away from household members to avoid ongoing exposure. Children or those requiring support with daily living can isolate together with a caregiver.
  • Notify your close contacts of their potential exposure to COVID-19. Get more information on how to determine who is a close contact.

Your household members do not need to self-isolate unless they also have symptoms.

Managing your symptoms

  • Contact your health care provider for information on eligibility for COVID-19 treatments.
  • Talk to a health care provider if your symptoms get worse, or contact Health Connect Ontario (formerly Telehealth Ontario) at 811. You can also go to a COVID, Cold and Flu clinic for a clinical assessment.
  • Call 911 or go to the emergency department if you have any severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain or feeling faint.
  • Get more information about when to seek medical help.

Learn more about self-isolation

Isolation support

Isolation support is available for anyone who is homeless and needs to self-isolate. Learn more about the isolation program for homeless individuals.

Notify your workplace

  • Notify your workplace and follow the instructions given to you by your employer or occupational health department.
  • If you work, live or volunteer in a highest risk setting including hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes or congregate living settings, you must notify them and follow the instructions given to you by them.
  • Employees do not require a negative PCR, rapid antigen test, or medical documentation to return to work.

Ending your self-Isolation

  • You can end your isolation when your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, vomiting or diarrhea), you do not have a fever and you have not developed any more symptoms. 
  • A longer self-isolation is recommended for some people, like those who are immunocompromised. Your isolation should be at least 10 days after your positive test date or start of symptoms (whichever is earlier) and until symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, vomiting or diarrhea) and you do not have a fever.
  • For 10 days after the start of your symptoms or 20 days if you are immunocompromised, you must continue to monitor for new or worsening symptoms, maintain masking in public settings, not visit or work in any highest risk settings, not visit vulnerable individuals such as immunocompromised individuals or seniors and avoid activities where removing your mask is necessary.

If you have been exposed to someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or who tested positive for COVID-19, you may be a close contact.

You’re a close contact if:

  • You were less than 2 metres from them for at least 15 minutes, or for multiple shorter periods of time without personal protective equipment
  • You were exposed to them when they were infectious (within 48 hours before they developed symptoms or before their test date, whichever came first, and until they complete their self-isolation).
  • Or, you have been identified as a close contact by public health

If you’re a close contact, you should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms as well as wear a mask for 10 days following your last exposure. Refer to directions from the Ontario government.

If you develop symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and follow the steps for people who have symptoms.

You have COVID-19 if you tested positive on a PCR, rapid point-of-care molecular, or rapid antigen test.

If you tested positive on a rapid antigen test, you generally do not require a PCR test for confirmation, and you do not need to report your test results to Peel Public Health.

Next steps

If you do not have symptoms, but you tested positive, you do not need to self-isolate unless symptoms develop.

If you develop symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and follow the steps for people who have symptoms.

For 10 days after your positive test result, you must continue to monitor for new or worsening symptoms, maintain masking in public settings, not visit or work in any highest risk settings, not visit vulnerable individuals such as immunocompromised individuals or seniors and avoid activities where mask removal is necessary. Those who are immunocompromised are recommended to take these additional precautions for 20 days.

Notify your close contacts of their potential exposure to COVID-19. Get more information on how to determine who is a close contact, and their next steps.

In certain situations, you may be contacted by public health. If you are contacted by public health by phone or by text message, follow the instructions that are provided to you. All information collected is kept confidential and is protected by Ontario's strict privacy laws.

Notify your workplace

  • Notify your workplace and follow the instructions given to you by your employer or occupational health department.
  • If you work, live or volunteer in a highest risk setting including hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes or congregate living settings, you must notify them and follow the instructions given to you by them.
  • Employees do not require a negative PCR, rapid antigen test, or medical documentation to return to work.

If your symptoms change or worsen, you may need to contact a health care professional or contact Health Connect Ontario (formerly Telehealth Ontario) at 811. Learn more about COVID-19 antiviral treatments from the Ontario government.

Call 911 if you need urgent medical help or if your condition is getting worse and you have any of the following severe symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • New or worsening confusion
  • Difficult waking up or staying awake, or, losing consciousness

Tell paramedics if you have COVID-19, or had close contact with a person who has COVID-19. If possible, wear a mask to limit exposure to others.

When caring for a child with COVID-19, it’s important to closely monitor them. You should go to a hospital right away, or call 911, if your child shows any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Persistent fever (3 days or longer)
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish color around the lips or on skin
  • Not drinking enough fluids or signs of dehydration (e.g. not making tears when crying, urinating less than usual)
  • Not waking up or interacting
  • Being irritable (e.g. not wanting to be held)

COVID, Cold and Flu Clinics

These clinics, also called clinical assessment centres, are available to individuals with mild symptoms of COVID-19 who are looking for medical attention for their symptoms or who need to see a doctor for assessment.

COVID-19, Cold and Flu Clinics are open to infants and children and will assess children with fever.

They will only test individuals who are eligible for a PCR test. You will not be tested if you do not meet eligibility criteria from the Ontario government. You do not need to have a negative COVID-19 test to be seen in-person at these clinics.

Find a COVID, Cold and Flu Clinic near you to receive an assessment.