Last updated: November 24, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
If you have been told that you are a close (or high-risk) contact of someone who has COVID-19 by Toronto Public Health or the person who has COVID-19, find out what to do next.
If your child is a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, find out how to care for them safely.
As part of the case and contact management process, Toronto Public Health works with people who have COVID-19 to determine anyone who may have been exposed to the virus. If you are identified as a close contact, you will receive a letter from Toronto Public Health or the person who has COVID-19. You may also receive a phone call or text message from Toronto Public Health
Toronto Public Health may contact you to check how you are feeling, provide information about self-isolation, and answer questions you may have.
If you are identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 you will need to self-isolate, unless you are fully vaccinated or you have had a recent COVID-19 infection. Find out if you meet the criteria for being fully vaccinated or having had a recent COVID-19 infection.
If you are worried that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, but have not been notified that you are a close contact, you should self-monitor for symptoms and get tested for COVID-19 if you develop symptoms.
If you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from the day you last had close contact with that person. Toronto Public Health may direct a longer self-isolation period based on your vaccination and testing status and when you last had close contact with the person who has COVID-19.
If you are fully vaccinated or have had a recent COVID-19 infection, you may not need to self-isolate. Please read the information for fully vaccinated close contacts and close contacts with a recent COVID-19 infection below if you think this may apply to you.
If you are told by Toronto Public Health (or a person with COVID-19) that you need to self-isolate, you must comply to prevent risk for transmitting COVID-19. Self-isolation is required by the Health Protection and Promotion Act. If you fail to self-isolate, 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.
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 are required to self-isolate, your household members should stay home except for essential reasons (e.g. getting groceries, going to work). Some workplaces do not allow household members of close contacts to attend work. Fully vaccinated household members and those who have had a recent COVID-19 infection have no restrictions on leaving their home.
If you develop symptoms during your period of self-isolation, both you and your household members must self-isolate until you test negative for COVID-19 or are provided with an alternative health diagnosis. Fully vaccinated household members and those who have had a recent COVID-19 infection are not required to self-isolate if you develop symptoms.
If you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and you cannot safely self-isolate in your own home, you may be eligible to stay at the Toronto Voluntary Isolation Centre.
If you are identified as a close contact, you should arrange to get tested at a Community Assessment Centre. Close contacts should not get tested at a pharmacy or by using point-of-care (rapid) tests (e.g. through a workplace screening program or purchased from a pharmacy). Students and staff at public schools can use take-home/self-collection testing kits provided by their school.
You may need to be tested many times. Close contacts, including those that are fully vaccinated should:
Close contacts who had a recent COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days should get tested only if they develop symptoms.
You should also always get tested (even if it means getting tested again) if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19.
If you test positive at any time, TPH will contact you and you will not need further testing. If you are not already self-isolating when you test positive, you must start to self-isolate immediately. Find out what to do if you test positive for COVID-19.
Even if your tests are negative, you will need to continue to self-isolate for the full 10 days unless you are fully vaccinated or have had a recent COVID-19 infection and meet the criteria to be exempt from self-isolation.
You should monitor for the appearance of symptoms if you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated or have had a recent COVID-19 infection.
If you develop symptoms, you must immediately self-isolate if you are not already doing so, even if you are fully vaccinated. Your household members may also need to self-isolate.
Based on your test results and vaccination status, do the following:
Find out if you are fully vaccinated.
If you do not meet the criteria for being fully vaccinated you must self-isolate for 10 days.
To be considered a close contact with a recent COVID-19 infection, you must have had a positive COVID-19 test result completed in Canada within the 90 days prior to your last exposure to the person with COVID-19 when they were infectious.
If your positive COVID-19 test result was more than 90 days prior to that last exposure, you must self-isolate for 10 days.
If you meet the definition for being fully vaccinated or having a recent COVID-19 infection, you still must self-isolate if any of the following apply:
If none of the above apply, you are not required to self-isolate. You should still do the following:
If you have self-isolated for 10 days and have not developed symptoms, you can stop self-isolating. After you stop self-isolating you must continue to practise prevention measures, including physical distancing, wearing a mask, and washing your hands.
If you have questions about your self-isolation period or when you can return to work, call the COVID-19 Hotline 416-338-7600.
You may receive a text notification from Toronto Public Health if you are identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19.
The text message will be from 77000 and include a secure link to complete a personal assessment form. The form is voluntary and will take about 10 minutes to complete. You can opt out by texting STOP. After you complete the form, you may receive a call to confirm the information you submitted. If you have any questions about the form, you can call the COVID-19 Hotline at 416-338-7600.
The text messages are delivered by the Virtual Assistant tool, which is part of the Government of Ontario’s case and contact management system. It can be used on mobile devices and created for a mobile experience. All information collected through the tool is kept confidential and protected by Ontario’s health laws. It will only be used for public health purposes.
The Virtual Assistant tool is currently being used for close contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19, including non-household close contacts of people in the school community who test positive for COVID-19. Non-household close contacts of people in the school community who test positive will receive a phone call to confirm their enrollment in the Virtual Assistant before receiving any text notifications. Close contacts who are part of a dismissed school cohort will continue to be notified of the need to self-isolate through the school principal and will not be enrolled in the Virtual Assistant tool at this time.
The Virtual Assistant tool is also being used to notify people who have COVID-19.