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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:


  • 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.

  • Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms OR a positive COVID-19 test ( PCR, rapid molecular or rapid antigen test) must isolate until symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms) and no fever is present.
  • Asymptomatic individuals with a positive test result do not need to self-isolate unless symptoms develop. If symptoms develop, they should self-isolate immediately
  • 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 staying home and not attending work, school, child care or other public places. The case should only leave home if there is a medical emergency or if they need to get a clinical assessment of the test. The case may leave their home for independent outdoor exercise (or with a caregiver, as appropriate), but should maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) from others at all times. The case should not go to outdoor fitness classes or personal training sessions and should wear a mask in building common areas when leaving the property if self-isolating in an apartment, condo, or hotel.


In the community, it is the responsibility of the individual with COVID-19 symptoms or COVID-19 positive test to determine who their close contacts are and to notify them of their potential exposure.

Household and Non-Household Close Contacts

  • For a total of 10 days after the last exposure to the COVID-19 positive case or individual with COVID-19 symptoms, the individual notified by a case should:

  1. Self-monitor for symptoms. They should self-isolate immediately if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing if eligible;
  2. Wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings: § Individuals should maintain masking as much as possible in public settings (including school and child care, unless under 2 years old). Reasonable exceptions would include removal for essential activities like eating while maintaining as much distance as possible;
  3. Participation in activities where masking can be maintained throughout may be resumed, but individuals should avoid activities where mask removal would be necessary (e.g., dining out; playing a wind instrument; high contact sports where masks cannot be safely worn); and
  4. Individuals who are unable to mask (e.g., children under two years of age, etc.) may return to public settings without masking.
  5. Avoid non-essential visits to anyone who is immunocompromised or at higher risk of illness (e.g., seniors); and
  6. Avoid non-essential visits to the highest risk settings such as hospitals and long-term care homes. Where essential visits cannot be avoided, close contacts should wear a medical mask, maintain physical distancing, and notify the highest risk setting of their recent 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

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 09/22/2022