Contact Tracing Information
Case and contact investigation of confirmed cases of COVID-19 remains one of the most effective public health strategies to reduce transmission in our province.
Contact tracing is a critical step in helping to control and prevent further transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Close contacts of individuals who tested positive are notified when they are at risk and are instructed to take appropriate public health measures.
What is contact tracing?
When a member tests positive for COVID-19, public health representatives will immediately initiate a follow-up process to all individuals identified as a close contact to a case. They will:
- Let people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Help people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 get tested based on their symptoms.
- Ask people to self-isolate (quarantine) if they are a close contact.
- Ask people instructed to self-isolate (quarantine) if they require any assistance to follow guidance (i.e. food)
What is a close contact?
A close contact is anyone who has been in close physical proximity (less than two metres or six feet) for more than 15 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 15 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 15 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 15 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.
Who does contact tracing?
To support case investigation, contact tracing and daily follow-up of cases and contacts during self-isolation (quarantine), you may be contacted by a public health representative. Public health representatives include regional public health staff, the Public Health COVID-19 Contact Centre, Canadian Red Cross, First Nations Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) and other partners.
Manitoba residents have access to the Health Canada COVID Alert app. The app provides digital COVID-19 exposure alerts once the app is downloaded to a smart phone. If the confirmed case has been using the COVID Alert app, a public health official will issue a one-time-key for the patient to enter into the app.
What can you expect during contact tracing?
Contact tracing consists of case investigations, contact notification, and active monitoring and follow-up.
- Case investigations – Public health representatives contact a confirmed COVID-19 case to identify their close contacts.
- Contact notification – Public health representatives notify close contacts of theirexposure to COVID-19 and provide instructions on how to self-isolate(quarantine).
- Active monitoring/follow-up – Public health representatives contact confirmed cases and close contacts during their isolation period to review symptoms and isolation.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19:
- A public health representative will contact you to check on your health.
- They will ask you questions about where you might have been exposed toCOVID-19 and have you identify who you were in contact with to understand how COVID-19 may have spread to others.
- Take the time to complete the contract tracing resource tool (pdf) while you are waiting for your test results.
- You will also be asked to stay at home and isolate, if you are not doing so already.
- Continue to monitor your health. If your symptoms worsen or become severe, you should contact Health Links – Info Santé at 204-788-8200 (Winnipeg) or toll- free 1-888-315-9257 or the Health Office at 204-855-2690.
- You will continue to receive follow-up calls either by a public health representative or by automated phone calls or text message until your case is closed.
If you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19:
- A public health representative will call you to inform you that you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- You should stay at home and self-isolate (quarantine) for 14 days, starting fromthe last day you were possibly exposed to COVID-19.
- Continue to monitor your health. You should take your temperature twice a day,watch for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19, and notify the Health Office at 204-855-2690 or Health Links – Info Santé at 204-788-8200 (Winnipeg) or toll- free 1-888-315-9257 if you do develop symptoms.
- You will continue to receive follow-up calls either by a public health official or by automated phone call until you are advised you can discontinue self-isolation (quarantine).