Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Health Centre:
What does it mean to be a close contact of a COVID-19 case?
A close contact is anyone who has been in close physical proximity (less than two metres or six feet) for more than 10 minutes to someone who has COVID-19. It also includes people who provided care for the case or had direct contact with infectious body fluids.
You are a close contact when:
- You were less than two metres or six feet away for 10 minutes or more, even if you were wearing a non-medical mask.
- You had multiple close interactions with someone over a 24-hour period (even if each was less than 10 minutes).
- You had close physical contact with the person, such as a hug.
- You live or provide care to someone in the same home.
You are not a close contact when:
- You had brief close contact (less than 10 minutes)
- You had prolonged close contact while wearing medical grade personal protective equipment
- You passed by someone quickly.
- You greeted someone and kept your distance of two metres or six feet.
- You made a delivery to someone who was self-isolating but had no contact at the time.
Should I get tested if I am a close contact?
- If public health officials have informed you that you are a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, public health officials will recommend testing if you have no COVID-19 symptoms after 7 days from your last exposure to the case. This is called asymptomatic testing. In addition, you should get tested if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time, including if you develop symptoms after you were tested. Information on COVID-19 symptoms is available at https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/fundamentals/symptoms.html.
- Getting tested too early after exposure to a case can result in a false negative because the test may not be able to detect the virus yet. This is why you must continue to self-isolate (quarantine) for the full 10 days, followed by 4 days of self-monitoring for symptoms, even if you have tested negative.
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 self-isolate (quarantine) and get tested?
- Public health officials will follow up with all close contacts and provide direction on self-isolation (quarantine) and testing.
- You should seek testing immediately if you are symptomatic or have been directed by public health officials.
- If you have no symptoms and are not otherwise exempt, you must follow the advice of public health officials and self-isolate (quarantine) for 10 days, followed by 4 days of self-monitoring for symptoms, after your last exposure to someone with COVID-19. Provided you have no symptoms, your close contacts, including household members, do not need to self-isolate (quarantine) while you are self-isolating (quarantining), as long as they do not have any symptoms.
- If you develop symptoms, you should go for testing. Your household members, unless otherwise exempt, should self-isolate (quarantine) until you receive your test result. Household members may be exempt from self-isolation (quarantine) if they have no symptoms AND are fully vaccinated or were recently infected with COVID-19 within the last 6 months.
- Close contacts should seek testing 7 days after their last exposure to someone with COVID-19. If your test result is negative, you should continue self-isolating (quarantining) for 10 days, followed by self-monitoring for symptoms for 4 days, after your last exposure. However, if you test positive for COVID-19, you should isolate for 10 days, and if symptomatic, for 10 days from the start of your symptoms and until your symptoms have resolved for 24 hours. If you test positive your household members, unless otherwise exempt, should also self-isolate (quarantine) and public health officials will provide further instructions.
- If you are a close contact with symptoms and decide not to be tested, you should isolate for a minimum of 10 days and until your symptoms have resolved for 24 hours. Your household members, unless otherwise exempt, should self-isolate (quarantine) for 10 days after their last exposure to you, followed by 4 days of self-monitoring for symptoms. Public health officials will provide further instructions.