COVID-19 Close Contacts

A person diagnosed with COVID-19 will be notified directly by public health and/or the testing site. To limit the spread of COVID-19 in PEI, the next important step for the person diagnosed with COVID-19 is to identify their close contacts so they can also isolate and be tested.

See What is a close contact?

Going forward, most close contacts will be contacted by the person diagnosed with COVID-19. If you are contacted and advised you are a close contact, you are required to follow the measures outlined below.

You must self-isolate immediately. The isolation and testing requirements for close contacts depend on whether you are fully vaccinated.

If you are:

  • fully vaccinated:
    • Isolate for 96 hours (4 days) after your last contact (Day 0) with the positive case
    • Exit isolation at 96 hours if you have a negative test on day 4 (a molecular test from a testing clinic) and are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19
  • If you are not fully vaccinated:
    • Isolate for 7 days after your last contact (Day 0) with the positive case
    • Exit isolation at Day 7 if you have a negative test on day 7 (a molecular test from a testing clinic) and are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19
  • During isolation, you cannot go to work or leave the property unless it is to get tested or for urgent medical care.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days since your last contact with the positive case.
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, isolate immediately and get tested. Do not wait for your next scheduled test date.
  • Do not visit high-risk settings or individuals* until after 10 days (settings such as long-term care, community care and other congregate living facilities, childcare facilities, and individuals who may be at risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes). After completing the 4 day or 7 day close contact isolation and testing. This 10 day restriction does NOT apply to staff who have completed the 4 day or 7 day isolation and testing and wear well-fitting masks and following appropriate COVID-19 protocols. 
  • If there are other people in your home, you must self-isolate away from them. Stay in a separate bedroom and do not share a bathroom or kitchen area. If these areas must be shared do not use at the same time and clean all surfaces after use. If the rest of the household is strictly isolating from the close contact, they may continue their daily routine. 
  • For more information on self-isolation please visit here.

If you test positive for Covid-19, public health will call you as soon as the result is known. For information about isolation requirements click here.

Questions and Answers

What is a close contact?

A close contact is someone who has been near a person with COVID-19 and had face to face interaction with them or were within 2 meters, 6 feet indoors, for at least 10 minutes (including a 10 minutes all together over 24 hours), were hugging, touching or kissing, or coughing or sneezing near, or someone who provided care to the person with COVID-19 at home. If both individuals wore a medical mask for the duration of the interaction, this would not be considered a close contact situation.

  • Examples of individuals that may fall under the close contact category:
    • Household members
    • Classmates
    • Seatmates on a school bus
    • Teammates on a sports team
    • Work colleagues
    • Playdate friends
    • Guests at a personal gathering event

If you have not been identified as a close contact but feel you may have attended the same location at the same time as someone with COVID-19 but did not have prolonged contact, monitor for symptoms for 10 days.

When is Day 0?

Day 0 is the date of last exposure. The isolation day count begins the day after exposure.

What is the definition of fully vaccinated?

In PEI you're considered fully vaccinated 14 days after you have any of the following COVID-19 vaccines:

  • 2 doses of AstraZeneca or COVISHIELD
  • 2 doses of Moderna
  • 2 doses of Pfizer
  • 2 doses of a combination of COVID-19 vaccines (AstraZeneca, COVISHIELD, Moderna and Pfizer)
  • 1 dose of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization but not approved by Health Canada (including Covaxin, Sinovac and Sinopharm)    

If you received 1 or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is not approved by Health Canada and not authorized by the World Health Organization, you’re not considered fully vaccinated and need 2 doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna).

Are you currently pregnant and a close contact of someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

If you are pregnant, test negative for COVID-19 and a close contact of someone in your household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, follow the public health isolation measures for close contacts. Call your prenatal care provider to reschedule any prenatal visits and ultrasounds during your isolation period. If you require urgent obstetrical care while in isolation, you can seek care at the QEH Labour and Delivery department. Please call Labour and Delivery at 902-894-2243 prior to coming in.

On my last day of isolation, what time of day does my isolation finish?

You are required to isolate until the end of your last day of self-isolation (e.g. end of day on day 4 or day 7).

If I’m a close contact and I live with a positive case, how long do I need to isolate?

It depends whether or not you can isolate away from the positive case:

  • If you are able to isolate in a separate area of the home from the person who has tested positive for COVID-19  as outlined in the self-isolation guidance, then you can follow the close contact guidance outlined at the top of this page.
  • If you are not able to isolate from the case, then you are required to isolate with the COVID-19 positive person (e.g. 7 days if the case is fully vaccinated, 10 days if they are not fully vaccinated), be tested on day 7 (of the case isolation), and after the case is considered recovered, you are required to isolate as a close contact (an additional 4 or 7 days, with testing on day 4 or 7 depending on vaccination status).

Modified Isolation: Children isolating with COVID-19 positive parents or family.
Children who must isolate with a positive family member, continue to test negative, and the family member has completed their isolation and recovered, can be directed to follow a modified isolation period from last day of exposure.

The child must follow these guidelines

  • Be tested at a testing clinic on the parent’s last day of isolation (day 0)
  • Receive a negative test result and follow modified isolation
    • if fully vaccinated, for 4 days (with molecular tests at testing clinic on days 2 and 4, plus rapid antigen screening tests on days 1 and 3),
    • if not fully vaccinated, for 7 days (with molecular tests at testing clinic on days 2, 4, and 7, plus rapid antigen testing on off days)
  • During the modified isolation, the child
    • Must not attend or host social gatherings
    • May attend school with adherence to mask use
    • May not attend extracurricular activities where mask use is not sustained for duration of activity
    • Must isolate immediately if symptoms develop and be tested at a testing clinic.
  • May end isolation if negative tested result on day 4 or 7 (as outlined above, depending on vaccination status) AND if not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

If I live with someone who has been identified a close contact, do I also need to isolate?

It depends whether you can isolate away from the close contact or not. If you are able to isolate away from the close contact (e.g. remain completely apart in your home, the close contact has their own room, etc. as outlined in the self-isolation guidance), you are not required to isolate.

Where possible, household members should isolate away from the close contact.

If you are not able to isolate away from the close contact, then you are required to isolate with the close contact until they have completed their isolation (provided they can continue to test negative). If they test positive, seek further guidance from Public Health Nursing.

Where can I find my test results?

The webpage to check your clinic test results is here.  

If I have questions, who can I contact?

For health questions about COVID-19, call 1-800-958-6400.

What happens if I don’t get tested?

If you do not get tested as per the testing schedule outlined above, you are required to isolate for 10 days.

Can I use an antigen test for my scheduled testing instead of going to a testing clinic?

Where at all possible, you should go to a testing clinic for a molecular test (ID Now molecular test).

Summary

For reference, a summary table of measures for close contacts:

Risk Category Fully vaccinated  Not fully vaccinated
Close contact
  • Isolate for 96 hours after last exposure to case

  • Exit isolation at 96 hours if asymptomatic with a negative test on day 4 (molecular test)

  • Do not visit high-risk settings or individuals1 until after 10 days2

  • Self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days since last exposure. Isolate and get tested if symptoms appear

     

 

  • Isolate for 7 days after last exposure to case
  • Exit isolation at Day 7 if asymptomatic with a negative test on day 7 (molecular test)
  • Do not visit high-risk settings or individuals* until after 10 days
  • Self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days since last exposure. Isolate and get tested if symptoms appear

 

1Examples of high risk settings are long-term care, community care and other congregate living facilities, childcare facilities and high risk  individuals are those who may be at risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes.

2After completing the 4 day or 7 day isolation and testing, the restriction on not visiting high risk settings or individuals doesn’t apply to staff who are wearing well-fitting masks and following appropriate COVID-19 protocols). 

Published date: 
January 11, 2022
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca