Last updated: May 20, 2021 at 1:55 p.m.
Caring for a Child Who is Self-Isolating or Has COVID-19
If you are caring for a child who is self-isolating or has COVID-19, everyone in the home should practice everyday prevention measures such as washing hands often and covering your cough or sneeze. Anyone in your household who has COVID-19 should follow public health guidance for people who have COVID-19, which includes staying in a separate room away from others much as possible and not eating meals in the same room as others in the home.
If a child in your household is sick with COVID-19, has symptoms, or is self-isolating because they were a close contact of someone who tested positive, parents and caregivers should continue providing care and support for their daily needs, but should take additional steps to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in their home. This includes:
- Wearing a mask inside the home, if you are able to do so;
- Isolating as much as possible from family members who are at high-risk of serious illness from COVID-19;
- Increasing ventilation by opening up windows if it is safe to do so;
- Disinfecting frequently touched non-food items such as dishes, utensils, counters, faucets, doorknobs and toilet handles;
- Not sleeping in the same bed as your child;
- As much as possible, stay six feet/two metres apart from all others in the household
Caregivers and parents should also monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, get tested if they develop symptoms and get vaccinated as soon as they can.
Download this information as a PDF.
Also see Public Health Ontario’s guidance on how to care for a child who needs to self-isolate.
Caring for Someone Who Has COVID-19
If you are caring for or living with someone who has COVID-19, or you are considered a close contact, inform any health care providers that you are a close contact of someone infected with COVID-19. The new COVID-19 variants of concern may spread more easily. It more important than ever to carefully follow the following public health practices.
Wash Your Hands Often
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 15 seconds after each contact with the person who has COVID-19.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
Wear a Mask and Gloves
Wear a mask and gloves when you have contact with the person’s saliva or other body fluids (e.g. blood, sweat, saliva, vomit, urine or feces).
Dispose of Gloves and Mask after Use
- Take the gloves and mask off right after you provide care and dispose of them in the wastebasket lined with the plastic bag.
- Take off the gloves and clean your hands with soap and water before taking off your mask.
- After you take off your mask, clean your hands again with soap and water before touching your face or doing anything else.
Only Essential Visitors
- Only have visitors who you must see and keep the visits short (e.g. support or home care professionals).
- Keep seniors and people with chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, lung problems, and immune deficiency) away from the person who has COVID-19.
Avoid Sharing Household Items
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with the person who has COVID-19.
- After use, these items should be washed with soap or detergent in warm water. No special soap is needed.
- Dishwashers and washing machines can be used.
- Do not share cigarettes.
- Clean your home with regular household cleaners.
- Clean frequently-touched items such as toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs and bedside tables, on a daily basis.
Wash Laundry Thoroughly
- There is no need to separate laundry, but you should wear gloves when handling laundry.
- Clean your hands with soap and water for 15 seconds immediately after removing your gloves.
Be Careful When Touching Waste
- All waste can go into regular garbage bins.
- When emptying wastebaskets, take care to not touch used tissues with your hands.
- Lining the wastebasket with a plastic bag makes waste disposal easier and safer.
- Clean your hands with soap and water for 15 seconds after emptying a wastebasket.
Public Health Ontario Guide
Read the Public Health Ontario guide (also available in Amharic | Arabic | Bengali | Simplified Chinese | Traditional Chinese | Dari | Eastern Ojibwe | Farsi | French | German | Greek | Gujarati | Hindi | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Mohawk | Oji-Cree | Pashto | Polish | Portuguese | Punjabi | Romanian | Russian | Somali | Spanish | Swampy Cree | Tagalog | Tamil | Ukrainian | Urdu | Vietnamese).
For information in French about COVID-19, please visit the Government of Ontario’s website and Public Health Ontario portal.