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What to do if you test positive for COVID-19


The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) has changed its case and contact management practices, in line with Ministry guidance.

Individuals who test positive will not receive a call from the Health Unit for case management or to provide isolation instructions. Please review the instructions below carefully and follow the instructions.

The HNHU is still responsible for case surveillance of COVID-19. This means that, on occasion, HNHU staff or provincial workforce partners may call individuals who have recently and/or previously tested positive for COVID-19 to collect information. 

This information may be used to determine if your infection is a re-infection, to collect outcomes of your infection and/or to update the provincial database. HNHU and provincial workforce partners may ask you for personal information, such as your name, date of birth, health card number and/or address. Staff will never ask for your financial information.


This information does not apply to individuals who live, work, volunteer or are admitted in a highest risk setting. Highest risk settings include hospitals (including complex continuing care facilities and paramedic services), and congregate living settings with medically and socially vulnerable individuals, including, but not limited to long-term care, retirement homes, First Nation eldercare lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, correctional institutions, Provincial Demonstration Schools and hospital schools.

If you test positive for COVID-19 on a PCR or a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) test:

If you are currently experiencing any of the following symptoms, call 911.


  • Severe difficulty breathing
    (struggling for each breath, can only speak in single words)
  • Severe chest pain
    (constant tightness or crushing sensation)
  • Feeling confused or unsure of where you are
  • Losing consciousness

Inform them that you have tested positive for COVID-19.

Self-Isolate Immediately


  • Individuals who test positive on a COVID19 test (PCR, rapid molecular, or rapid antigen) should self-isolate immediately.
  • Your self-isolation period depends on factors such as age, vaccination status, the severity of infection, and immune status.
  • For ALL scenarios below, symptoms must be improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) and no fever present prior to ending self-isolation.
  • Self-isolation means that you cannot leave your home for any reason. You cannot attend work, school, or childcare.
Population Isolation Period Example
  • Fully vaccinated individuals
  • Children under the age of 12
5 days after date of test or day symptom started (whichever is earlier)

Jane is fully vaccinated. She tests positive on a rapid antigen test (RAT) on January 1st. She does not have symptoms. She should remain in isolation through end of day January 6th.
  • Individuals age 12 and older who are not fully vaccinated
  • Immunocompromised
  • Hospitalized for COVID-19 related illness
  • Residing in a highest-risk setting
10 days after date of test or day symptom started (whichever is earlier)

John is unvaccinated. He develops symptoms on January 1st and tests positive on a rapid antigen test (RAT) on January 4th. He should remain in isolation through end of day on January 11th
  • Severe illness (requiring ICU level of care)
20 days after the date of test or the day symptom started (whichever is earlier)  


  • Visit Public Health Ontario for more information on how to self-isolate.
  • If self-isolation is complete after 5 days, for a total of 10 days (or 20 days for immunocompromised individuals) after symptoms began or date of test (whichever is sooner), individuals must:
    • Continue to wear a well-fitted mask in public settings
      • Maintain masking as much as possible
      • Avoid activities where mask removal would be necessary (dining out)
      • Individuals exempt from masking (e.g.,: children under 2 years of age, etc.) may return to a public setting without masking
    • Not visit anyone who is immunocompromised or at higher risk of illness (I,e., seniors)
    • Not visit or attend work in any highest risk settings



Seek treatment (antiviral medication), if eligible


  • Antiviral treatments are now available for free by prescription to people with COVID-19 who are at higher risk of progressing to severe disease requiring hospitalization.

Tell your household members that they will need to isolate and seek PCR testing if they are eligible.


  • Household members that do not meet the criteria below must self-isolate while the positive case/individual with COVID-19 symptoms is self-isolating if:
    • They have previously tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days
    • They are 18 years of age and older and have already received their booster dose
    • They are under 18 years of age and are fully vaccinated
  • If another household member develops symptoms while you are self-isolating, the newly symptomatic household member, and other household members who do not have symptoms, should extend their self-isolation period until the last symptomatic household member has finished their self-isolation periods. The person who first tested positive/had COVID-19 symptoms does not need to extend their self-isolation period.
  • Please refer to this chart to determine how long you should isolate.
Inform your close contacts of their exposure

  • A close contact is anyone you were less than two metres away from for at least 15 minutes, or multiple shorter lengths of time, without personal protective equipment in the 48 hours before your symptoms began or the date of your test, whichever came first.
  • What to do if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19



You do not have to report your results to the HNHU 

Text messages after a PCR Test


If you received a PCR test, you may receive a text message from our Virtual Assistant. Click on the secure link and complete the form. This is not spam or a scam. The Health Unit will never ask you for your SIN or banking information.

Please note: if you tested positive on a rapid antigen test, you will not receive an SMS text message.


If you require any additional support, please call the Provincial Testing, Isolation, Information COVID-19 Contact Hotline 1 (888) 777-0730 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM EST 7 days a week


Last updated 03/15/2022