What to do when exposed to COVID-19

Get tested 3 to 5 days after your close contact and wear a mask when around others for 10 days.

What to do

When you’ve had close contact or live with someone who has COVID-19, you can choose to stay home and away from others if you can, especially those at high risk of getting sick from Covid. But you are not required to.

Get tested

Get tested 3 to 5 days after you were first exposed. You can take either an antigen or a PCR test after a close contact. If you test positive, you must stay away from others for 5 days.

You should consider testing earlier than 3 to 5 days to find out if you’re positive so you can:

Wear a mask

You should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days after you had the close contact. Masking is especially important when:

  • Indoors, including around others at home
  • Around people who have a high risk of severe Covid disease

The virus is more likely to spread in the first 10 days. Wearing a mask around others for 10 days will lower the risk of your spreading the virus, in case you have it.

If you test positive or feel sick

If you test positive, you must stay away from others to stop the spread of the virus.

If you develop Covid-19 symptoms, it is strongly recommended that you stay away from others until you get tested.

The risks of getting and spreading Covid

You are at risk of having the virus if:

  • You were indoors with someone who has Covid
  • The time indoors  was 15 minutes or longer

It doesn’t matter if you and others are wearing masks during the time of contact.

Someone can have Covid for 2 days before they start feeling sick or have a positive test. During this time, they can infect others.

They are at risk of spreading Covid for up to 10 days from when they started feeling sick or tested positive, unless they test negative days 5 to 9.
 

Special cases

Covid at schools, childcare, and youth programs

Covid at schools, childcare, and youth programs

If someone at school, childcare, or a youth program has Covid or there's a chance of exposure, follow our guidance for staff and families. See our health directives for more information.

Individual schools may choose to have additional rules or policies that families should also follow.

People who live or work in high-risk settings

People who live or work in high-risk settings

Healthcare workers and people who live and work in some high-risk settings (long-term care facilities, shelters, jails) have different rules for quarantine.  See the quarantine directive for more information.

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Last updated June 8, 2022