What to do if you’re told you’re a close contact

Who’s a close contact?

For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 2 metres (6 feet) for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period while someone’s in their infectious period.

The infectious period, which is when someone can spread illness, is usually 2 days before the start of their symptoms through to approximately 5 days after their symptoms develop.

If you're a close contact

Regardless of your vaccination status, monitor yourself for symptoms after you've been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

It's recommended that you avoid ongoing contact with the person who tested positive if possible. Continuing to have contact with someone who's tested positive will increase the risk that you become sick.

Symptoms to self-monitor for

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches

Your symptoms may be mild or severe. They often vary in people who are very young or older people. While most people will experience mild illness, others are at higher risk for severe illness.

If you develop symptoms

If you develop symptoms, no matter how mild, it is recommended that you stay home until you feel better and your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you have vomiting or diarrhea). Testing for COVID-19 is no longer recommended unless you are sick enough to be assessed by a health care provider. However, some people may still choose to take an at-home rapid test.