Last updated: January 14, 2021 at 9:45 a.m.
There is a test for COVID-19 which tells you if you have the infection right now. You should get tested for COVID-19 if:
Toronto Public Health offices are not an assessment centre and testing is not provided at our offices.
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.
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:
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
Notify close contacts who you spent time with while you were infectious that they must self-isolate and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from the last date of exposure.
You should also notify your employer and/or school that you tested positive for COVID-19.
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
There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. People who have COVID-19 should receive supportive health care to help relieve symptoms. People with more severe illness may require hospitalization.
If symptoms feel worse than a standard cold, call your health care practitioner. They can relieve symptoms by prescribing a pain or fever medication.
You should also:
Due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in Toronto, Toronto Public Health (TPH) has temporarily changed how we do contact tracing. We are focusing our efforts on the highest risk situations. This means people who have COVID-19 and whose infection poses the most risk to others.
For the time being, TPH will contact people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to:
TPH is asking people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 to identify the number of close contacts they had in the 14 days before their symptoms started. A close contact is anyone they spent more than 15 minutes with at any indoor social gathering or in a crowded indoor space who is not part of their household. This information will help TPH identify people who had 10 or more high-risk contacts to help with contact management and follow up. TPH will also 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.
When the number of COVID-19 cases in Toronto returns to a manageable level, TPH will resume its regular contact tracing process.
Download this information as a PDF (also available in Amharic | Arabic | Bengali | Dari | Farsi | French | Gujarati | Pashto | Portuguese | Punjabi | Simplified Chinese | Somali | Spanish | Tamil | Urdu | Vietnamese).
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.
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.
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.
Download the Toronto Voluntary Isolation Centre infographic. Also available in Amharic | Arabic | Bengali | Simplified Chinese | Traditional Chinese | Dari | Farsi | French | Gujarati | Hindi | Hungarian | Italian | Karen | Korean | Nepali | Pashtu | Polish | Portuguese | Punjabi | Russian | Serbian | Slovak | Somali | Spanish | Tagalog | Tamil | Turkish | Ukrainian | Urdu | Vietnamese
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 from 1-833-929-2338 with a link to complete the survey.
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.