Last updated: February 25, 2021 at 10:40 a.m.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you will be contacted by Toronto Public Health or the Ontario Ministry of Health to:
You can expect a call or text within the first few days after your positive result.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from the day your symptoms started or the day of your test if you have no symptoms.
Self-isolation is mandatory under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, and if you fail to do this, you could be fined under the Act. Please review information about the COVID-19 Self-Isolation Class Order.
If you cannot safely self-isolate in your own home, you may be eligible to stay at the Toronto Voluntary Isolation Centre.
For your protection, you should take extra precautions if:
You must isolate yourself from others if:
To safely self-isolate, you should:
Follow Public Health Ontario’s instructions on how to self-isolate.
Instructions on how to self-isolate are also available in: French | Arabic | Bengali | Simplified Chinese | Traditional Chinese | Eastern Ojibwe | Farsi | German | Greek | Gujarati | Hindi | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Mohawk | Oji-Cree | Polish | Portuguese | Punjabi | Romanian | Russian | Somali | Spanish | Swampy Cree | Tagalog | Tamil | Ukrainian | Urdu | Vietnamese
If you were not tested but have symptoms of COVID-19, and you were not a close contact of someone with COVID-19, you will have to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started. Household members should continue to self-monitor for 14 days. Household members can continue to attend school or work as long as they do not have symptoms.
If you were not tested but have symptoms of COVID-19 and were a close contact of someone who had COVID-19, you will have to continue to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started. Household members will need to self-isolate for 14 days and get tested if they develop symptoms. They cannot attend school or work until COVID-19 is ruled out.
Notify close contacts who you spent time with while you were infectious (could transmit the virus). People are infectious from 48 hours before symptoms start. If you had no symptoms then use 48 hours before your test date.
When you notify your close contacts tell them they must self-isolate and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from the last time you were in close contact with them.
You should also notify your employer and/or school that you tested positive for COVID-19.
Note: TPH will be using an online survey to collect information on how people got infected to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our city. TPH continues to investigate and respond to outbreaks in hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, shelters, schools, and child care settings.
COVID-19 causes a range of symptoms that vary from person-to-person.
Some people may experience mild or no physical symptoms. Symptoms can take up to 14 days after exposure to COVID-19 to appear, and include new or worsening:
If you are having difficulty breathing, call 911.
Rarely, children can get an inflammatory condition that impacts the blood vessels, called vasculitis. It can present with prolonged fever, abdominal pain, red eyes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash. It needs medical attention.
For others, there is a higher risk for severe illness, including people over the age of 60, and those with weakened immunity or underlying health conditions.
If you have been advised by Telehealth, your health care provider, or your local public health unit to self-monitor, follow Public Health Ontario’s instructions on how to self-monitor.
Instructions on how to self-monitor are also available in: French | Arabic | Bengali | Simplified Chinese | Traditional Chinese | Eastern Ojibwe | Farsi | German | Greek | Gujarati | Hindi | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Mohawk | Oji-Cree | Polish | Portuguese | Punjabi | Romanian | Russian | Somali | Spanish | Swampy Cree | Tagalog | Tamil | Ukrainian | Urdu | Vietnamese
Most people who have COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. Many of the same things you do to feel better if you have the flu can also help with COVID-19:
If symptoms feel worse than a standard cold, call your health care practitioner. They can relieve symptoms by prescribing a pain or fever medication.
People with more severe illness may require hospitalization. People who are hospitalized with COVID-19 may receive other treatments.
The Toronto Voluntary Isolation Centre is available for individuals living with others who need a safe and comfortable space to self-isolate.
When someone has COVID-19, they must stay home and self-isolate to prevent further virus spread. Unfortunately, some people may not be able to do this safely in their own home. There may be other people living in their household and/or they may not have enough space to self-isolate from others. They may also have an underlying health condition and live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
If someone is not able to self-isolate they risk spreading COVID-19 to others in their household, which means it could spread in the community too. The Toronto Voluntary Isolation Centre helps reduce these risks.
Toronto Public Health may identify individuals who can benefit from this program through its process of contacting COVID-19 cases in the City. In addition, individuals in the City of Toronto can self-refer through calling the COVID-19 Hotline at 416-338-7600 to complete an eligibility assessment.
You may be eligible to stay at the voluntary isolation centre if you:
Toronto Public Health will organize your stay at the Toronto Voluntary Isolation Centre.
If you need transportation to and from the Centre, Toronto Public Health can arrange that for you. You will have free access to a comfortable and safe room along with Wi-Fi, a landline phone, television, and three meals and two snacks a day. Learn more about what to bring if you are staying at the Centre.
You may bring food from home, receive outside deliveries or have family or friends drop off food or packages. You may also receive deliveries from community agencies. Only designated staff or guests are allowed to enter the Centre and so all deliveries are received at the front door.
Hotel staff will not enter your room during your stay. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, your room will only be cleaned after you leave the hotel.
Call the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline at 416-338-7600, seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. to learn more.
The Toronto Voluntary Isolation Centre is made possible through funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Read what guests who stayed at the Toronto Voluntary Isolation Centre had to say about their experience:
Thank you so much for allowing me to come here. I appreciate this so much. I’m really so, so happy that I made sure that I didn’t pass COVID to my family. I have two children that I wanted to protect. My daughter has severe asthma and both of my children got tested and they tested negative. I am so grateful and appreciate that you gave me a place to stay and all my meals. While, I was here I was able to sew my daughter a new dress by hand and a matching red face mask. Thank you so much.
Thank you for taking care of me and for the daily check-up calls to make sure that I am safe and comfortable while here in isolation.”
I have never been happier to be Canadian. I am grateful to have this service to be able to isolate… it is truly a blessing to be Canadian; to have Toronto Public Health and OHIP to support me. Thank you for being here for me today and each day as I move through this uncertain virus.
Toronto Public Health is asking people who get tested for COVID-19 to complete a confidential and voluntary online survey about their activities in the days before their test. The survey is part of a new study that compares the activities of people who test positive to those who test negative around the same time, to help us better understand how the virus is spreading in Toronto.
People who test positive will receive a link via email from the Communicable Disease Investigator who contacts them to follow up on their test results. People who test negative will receive an automated text message with a link to complete the survey. The text message will come from a toll-free number starting with an 833 area code.
The survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete and is voluntary. Participation will not affect any services that you receive from the City of Toronto.
All survey responses will be kept confidential, secure and private. The survey tool adheres to all necessary security measures for storage of personal and health information in Ontario. The information will only be used for the purposes of the provincial Health Protection and Promotion Act. Survey results will only be reported at an aggregate level and individuals cannot be identified from the data being collected.