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Information for Close Contacts of a COVID-19 Case

novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last updated September 10, 2020 4 p.m.

Q: What does it mean to be a close contact of a COVID-19 case?

A: Close contacts are defined as anyone that had contact with a case for more than 15 minutes and within two metres or the length of one hockey stick. People are considered close contacts even if they were wearing a mask. OR:

  • Has had direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who has COVID-19 (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on).
  • Provides direct care for a person who has COVID-19;

Q: Should I get tested if I am a close contact?

A: Yes, since you have been told that you’re a close contact, Public Health recommends that you are tested for COVID-19. Complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment . While you are waiting for your test results you are required to self-isolate. Refer to Advice for People Tested for COVID-19

Q: I am a close contact of a COVID-19 case. What should I do?

A: Because you are a close contact of a COVID-19 case you are legally required to isolate for 14 days from the time you were exposed. This is mandatory under the Public Health Act.

Q: How do I get my results?

A: Result options.

Q: Do I still have to isolate for 14 days if my test comes back negative?

A: Yes. On the day you were tested, there may not have been enough virus in your body, for the test to pick up. Isolating for a full 14 days ensures that there is no virus in your system and therefore you won’t continue to spread it.

Q: How can I prepare for self-isolation?

A: How to isolate.

Q: What if the person who has COVID-19 shares the same house as me?

A: You will want to do all of the above, as well as taking these other precautions:

  • Choose a room in your home you can use to separate sick household members from healthy ones, if possible.
  • Choose a separate bathroom for sick individuals to use, if possible.
  • Plan to clean these rooms as needed when someone is sick.
  • Don’t share household items, like dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels and pillows.
  • After using these, wash them very well with soap and water, place in the dishwasher for cleaning, or wash in the washing machine.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and counters.

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and should I monitor myself for them?

A: COVID-19 symptoms.

Q: What exemptions are there to mandatory self-isolation?

A: Isolation exemptions.

Q: If I’m a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, do my close contacts (e.g. my family, household members, friends I saw before self-isolation, etc.) need to isolate and get tested?

A:

  • If you are a close contact of a case and don’t have any symptoms and haven’t had a positive COVID test, your close contacts do not need to isolate.
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID, it is recommended that your contacts isolate while you wait for your test results.
  • If you test positive, your close contacts will be legally required to isolate.
  • If you have more questions, please visit www.alberta.ca/coronavirus