Ontario updated its self-isolation rules on Wednesday and created separate guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
Fully immunized people no longer have to automatically self-isolate if they’re a confirmed contact of a COVID-19 patient. Vaccinated individuals also do not have to self-isolate just because a household member falls sick.
A vaccinated individual is someone who’s let 14 days pass since getting their second shot. People with one shot and those who just got a second dose recently are still considered unvaccinated under these new guidelines.
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Here’s a breakdown of the new self-isolation rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals:
What if I’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 but I feel fine?
Unvaccinated: Self-isolate and arrange to get tested right away. You must stay in isolation for at least 10 days from the date of your last exposure, regardless of the test result, because COVID-19 has such a long incubation period.
Fully vaccinated: Not required to self-isolate but encouraged to wear a mask and practice physical distancing to reduce the chances of potential transmission. Should self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days after exposure. Self-isolate and get tested immediately if symptoms develop.
Regardless of vaccination status, a high-risk COVID-19 exposure should be reported to one’s employer so workplace guidelines can be followed.
What if I live with someone who’s been exposed to a COVID-19 case?
Unvaccinated: If your housemate feels fine but is in self-isolation, you should stay home and only go out for essential reasons (work, school, medical appointments). If your housemate has symptoms, you must self-isolate while they await their test results.
Fully vaccinated: No need to self-isolate.
What if I have symptoms of COVID-19?
Unvaccinated: Immediately get tested and self-isolate.
Vaccinated: Immediately get tested and self-isolate. If the COVID-19 test result comes back negative, vaccinated individuals can end their self-isolation when respiratory symptoms have been gone for at least 24 hours, and gastrointestinal symptoms have been gone for 48 hours.
The new guidelines also say that in outbreak settings, fully vaccinated individuals may be required to quarantine if a more aggressive response to contain spread is needed.