Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is an important public health tool to stop viruses like COVID-19 from spreading rapidly in communities.


Contact tracing

Contact tracing is an important public health tool to stop viruses like COVID-19 from spreading rapidly in communities. It helps people get diagnosed earlier and reduces the chance of spreading the virus.

Beginning Dec. 21, Public Health contact tracers will no longer notify close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases unless they are in a high-risk setting.

Public Health tracers will now only contact the individual who tested positive from the public health high risk priority groups. They will provide them with guidance on what to tell their close contacts regarding testing and isolation procedures.

 

Any information you share with Public Health staff is CONFIDENTIAL. This means that your name and personal and medical information will be kept private.


About close contacts

Close contacts are the people who were within two metres (six feet) of you for at least 15 minutes without masking or barriers in place during the 48 hours before you developed symptoms, OR 48 hours before you tested positive (whichever came first). This is the period you are most contagious and when you are most likely to spread COVID-19 to others. 

Your Household Contacts

  • These are the people who live with you, who share common areas such as a kitchen, living room and bathroom. It also includes anyone with whom you may have had intimate contact when you were infectious.

Fully vaccinated (2 doses) household contacts who do not have any symptoms must:

  • Isolate for 5 days unless otherwise directed by Public Health
  • Monitor for symptoms
  • If a symptom develops, complete the online assessment form
  • Mask continuously, avoid vulnerable settings and gatherings for an additional 5 days

Unvaccinated household contacts who do not have any symptoms must:

  • Isolate for 10 days, unless otherwise directed by Public Health
  • Monitor for symptoms
  • If a symptom develops, complete the online assessment form
  • Mask continuously, avoid vulnerable settings and gatherings for an additional 5 days

All close contacts not in your household must:

  • Self monitor for symptoms for 10 days regardless of vaccination status
  • If close contacts develop any symptoms, complete the online assessment form

 

Help with identifying your contacts:

It may be challenging to remember who you spent time with. Checking your phone for calls or texts and receipts can help you to determine who you made plans with and where you went. Make a list of all your close contacts. To help, ask yourself questions such as:

  • Who lives with you?
  • Have you gone to work, school, daycare (if the case is a child)?
  • Who did you have direct physical contact with, such as hugging or kissing?
  • Have you gotten together with others at a restaurant?
  • Have you gone out for drinks?
  • Did you exercise with others or go to a gym?
  • Do you participate in any sports or other activities?
  • Did you have friends or family over to your house?
  • Have you been to the home of family or friends?
  • Do you have any service providers (home care, speech therapy, etc.) that come to your home regularly?
  • Did you volunteer somewhere?
  • Did you go to a party or other celebration?
  • Have you gone to in-person appointments (for example, the salon, barber, doctor’s or dentist’s office)?
  • Have you ridden in a car with others or taken public transportation?
  • Have you been inside a church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship?

 


How you can help

  • Keep a list of who you’ve met with and where you have been.  This can be done on your phone, in a notebook or in a calendar.
  • If you test positive, be open and honest about the people you’ve spent time with.

Notifying your contacts

You need to notify your close contacts. This will protect family, friends, the broader community, as well as critical health care resources.

It is important to tell your close contacts that you have tested positive for Covid-19 and when they may have been exposed to the virus (the last time you were together).