Isolation for Members with Symptoms and/or Waiting for COVID-19 Test Results Guide
Note: This fact sheet is intended for individuals with a positive COVID-19 test result, individuals awaiting test results (whether or not they have symptoms or exposure) and individuals with COVID-19 symptoms who have not been tested.
Most people who get COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, but for some this virus can cause serious illness and even death. Most people who get sick with COVID-19 can recover at home, but need to isolate and monitor their symptoms. Care at home can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and help ensure that health care resources are available to those with severe COVID-19 symptoms requiring hospitalization. Speak to a Sioux Valley Dakota Nation public health representative (204-855-2690) if you are not able to isolate at home. Isolation from other people is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and Oyate in the community.
Do I need to isolate and for how long? If you:
• have tested positive for COVID-19 and are well enough to recover at home. Isolate for at least 10 days from the time your symptoms started. During this time, you will receive regular calls from a combination of public health representatives to ask about your temperature and your symptoms. A public health representative will tell you when you can stop isolating.
• have been tested and are waiting for your test results. Isolate at home while you are waiting to get your test results. If your COVID-19 test results are negative, but you have symptoms, and have travelled or been exposed to a case, you will need to continue to self-isolate (quarantine) for the entire 14 days and until you have been symptom free for 24 hours. If your COVID-19 test results are negative and you have not travelled or been exposed to a case, you need to isolate until you have been symptom free for 24 hours. If your COVID-19 test results are positive, you must continue to isolate and a public health representative will call you.
• have cold or flu-like symptoms but have not been exposed to COVID-19 through travel or contact with a case. People with a new onset, or worsening, of any one symptom listed in column A or any two or more symptoms listed in column B (see table below), should get tested for COVID-19. If you choose not to get tested, you will need to isolate for at least 10 days at home. You can stop isolating after 10 days, provided you have been symptom free for 24 hours. If you do get tested and your COVID-19 test results are negative, you need to isolate until you have been symptom free for 24 hours. If your COVID-19 test results are positive, you must continue to isolate and a public health representative will call you.
- Sore throat/hoarse voice
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of taste or smell
- Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours
- Runny Nose Muscle aches
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
- Skin rash of unknown cause
- Poor feeding, if infant
- Nausea or loss of appetite
How will I find out about my test results?
Results can be accessed securely online at https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/test- results/. You may receive a text message to let you know that your test result is available on the portal. The results will not be included in the text. If your test results come back positive for COVID-19, public health representatives will also contact you directly. Timelines for COVID-19 test results may vary due to current testing volumes and the location where you were tested. It may take several days for COVID-19 test results to become available. You should continue to isolate until you receive your test results. If you do not have a Manitoba Health Family Registration Card, or you are unable to access your test results, you can call the COVID Line at Health Links – Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll free at 1-888-315-9257. If you tested positive for COVID- 19 you will receive regular calls from public health representatives, including regional public health, the Public Health COVID-19 Contact Center, the Canadian Red Cross, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), or other partners as part of your ongoing monitoring. You may also be contacted using automated calls or SMS text messages. You will be asked important questions about isolation, your symptoms and other public health guidelines in a question and answer format, with answers provided by keypad number options. You will continue to receive regular calls until you are symptom free and your case is closed.
What does isolation mean?
Isolation requires staying at home and avoiding contact with other people (including household members) to prevent spreading the disease to others in your home and your community. This means confining your activities to your home and outdoor property. If you live in a multi-dwelling complex, you must stay in your suite. You may use your private balcony as long as it is two metres (six feet) away from your neighbor’s balcony. Until you are finished your isolation, do not leave home to go to work, school or other public places (e.g., don’t go for curbside pickup from stores and restaurants, places of worship), unless you require emergency or urgent medical care. While at home, stay in your own room or on a separate floor from other members of your household. If possible, use a separate bathroom. If you must share a bathroom, it should be cleaned/disinfected frequently. If you need to leave your room or floor, wear a medical mask and stay at least two metres (six feet) away from other members of your household. You should also avoid contact with pets that live in your home. If you live alone, arrange to have groceries and supplies dropped off at your door to minimize contact with others. Cancel or notify any service providers who regularly come into your home that a household member is sick, has COVID-19, or is waiting test results. This includes home care workers. They will discuss how best to provide care during this time.
How do I self-monitor my symptoms?
Anyone who is isolating should also be monitoring their health for any new or more severe symptoms. This means:
• Identifying any new or worsening symptoms, including fever, cough, headache, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.
• Taking your temperature twice a day (morning and night), using an oral (mouth) digital thermometer. It is important to get an accurate temperature reading. Do not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum for 30 minutes prior to taking your temperature. Wait at least 4 hours after you have taken acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or Ibuprofen (Advil®).
• Using the Temperature Self-Monitoring Form to record your temperature, and any other symptoms you may experience during the isolation period.
What should I do if my symptoms get worse?
If your symptoms get worse during the isolation period (e.g., difficulty breathing, shortness of breath), call:
• Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Health (204-855-2690)
• Health Links – Info Santé (204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257). A nurse will assist you in determining whether or not you need a medical assessment.
• 911 if it is an emergency.
It is important to seek medical attention early to get the care you need.
What can I do to care for myself while at home?
• Rest, eat nutritious food, and drink plenty of clear fluids (e.g., water).
• Take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®) for fever and soreness.
• Check with your health care provider to find out if you should still take vitamins or alternative medicines.
• Isolating can be stressful and you may feel lonely. Stay connected with family or friends by phone, email, social media or other technologies.
What can I do to stop the spread of COVID-19 to others in my home?
When you are sick, there are a variety of precautions you should take to protect others. You should:
Clean your hands regularly
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol:
• Before and after preparing food (avoid preparing food for others)
• Before eating
• After using the toilet
• After touching shared household items (e.g., dishes, towels, etc.)
• Before and after using a face mask
• After disposing of waste (e.g. a tissue) or handling contaminated laundry and whenever hands look dirty.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
• Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue.
• Throw used tissues in the garbage and immediately wash your hands, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid sharing household and personal items
• Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items.
• Do not share cigarettes or other items that are put in the mouth.
Keep your environment clean
• Clean and disinfect high touch areas (toilets, taps, light switches, doorknobs, TVs, phones, electronics and TV remotes) at least twice daily, or as needed.
• Use store bought disinfectant. If not available, use a diluted bleach solution (20 ml [four teaspoons] bleach for every liter of water) and allow the surface to remain wet for one minute before scrubbing.
• Use hot water when operating the dishwasher or washing machine.
Make sure your home has good airflow
• Open the window, as weather allows.
What if I live with someone who is at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms?
Some people are at greater risk of developing severe symptoms that can result in hospitalization and even death. They include people who are 60 years of age and older, people with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems (e.g., people undergoing cancer treatment). Speak to your public health representative (204-855- 2690) or contact Health Links – Info Santé if you live with someone at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms, or if isolating in the home will be difficult. Public health representatives can assist with finding alternative accommodations for yourself, or potentially those at higher risk, to reduce the risk to family and household members.