Information for people who have tested positive for COVID-19

If you are at higher risk of severe outcomes, you should be tested at a testing clinic to facilitate access to treatment if applicable

  • People at higher risk of severe outcomes include:
    • Individuals 50 years and over
    • Anyone with underlying medical conditions that lead to high risk of severe outcomes or are immune compromised
    • Pregnant individuals
    • Children younger than 5 years of age

I’m positive for COVID-19. What should I do next?

  • Self-isolate right away.
    • To prevent further spread of COVID-19, it’s important for you to self-isolate right away.
    • Information on how to self-isolate can be found here.
  • Notify your close contacts right away
    • Close contacts may include:
      • Members of your household,
      • Friends and family,
      • Anyone with whom you attended a social gathering, event, or extracurricular activities
      • Teammates on a sports team
      • Work colleagues and others at your workplace
      • Playdate friends
      • Guests at a personal or social gathering event
    • During your infectious period, a Close contact is someone:
      • you had face to face interaction with indoors or outdoors for at least 15 minutes, including 15 minutes in total over a 24 hour period (e.g. 5 minutes + 5 minutes + 5 minutes), or
      • you were within 2 meters (6 feet) indoors for at least 15 minutes, including 15 minutes in total over a 24 hour period, or
      • you were hugging, kissing, coughing or sneezing near, or
      • who provided care to you at home.
    • If you (the person who tested positive) wore an appropriate well-fitting mask properly for the duration of the interaction, this wouldn’t be considered a close contact situation. An appropriate mask could be a three layer non-medical mask (that includes a filter layer), a medical mask, or a respirator.
    • Please advise your close contacts to visit COVID-19 Close Contact for more information.
  • If you were at work during your infectious period, notify your manager.
  • If you visited any of the following locations during your infectious period, advise the management:
    • Long-term care facilities
    • Hospitals
    • Corrections facilities
    • Shelters
    • First Nations communities
    • Other congregate (group living) settings
    • Early learning childcare centres
  • Seek medical help if your symptoms get worse by calling 811 or 911.
  • If you need support during isolation, please call 211
  • If you have further questions, including on isolation, please call 1-800-958-6400.
  • Public Health will be prioritizing who receives phone calls after a positive COVID-19 test. Not everyone will receive a call.
Visit Caring for yourself or others with COVID-19 for information that may be useful for someone who is recovering at home or caring for someone with COVID-19.

How long do I need to isolate?

You must self-isolate for 7 days from the time you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or from the date you tested positive, whichever is shorter. You can exit self-isolation after 7 days if you are not experiencing any symptoms or if symptoms are improving and you have not had a fever in the last 24 hours. Do not visit high-risk settings or individuals for 10 days from the start of self-isolation. If your symptoms are not improving, extend your self-isolation period to 10 days total.

  • After completing the 7 day isolation, the restriction on not visiting high risk settings or individuals does NOT apply to asymptomatic staff (without symptoms) who are wearing appropriate well-fitting masks (such as a three layer non-medical mask (that includes a filter layer), a medical mask, or a respirator ) and following applicable COVID-19 protocols.

If you are experiencing a COVID-rebound: Some individuals may experience a brief return of symptoms between 2 to 8 days after initial recovery from illness. Individuals who experience a rebound in their COVID symptoms AND who continue to test positive on a rapid antigen test remain infectious and must stay in isolation for an additional 5 days after symptoms return to prevent spreading the virus to others. More information on COVID-19 rebound is available here.

If you are immune compromised, you must isolate for 10 days and must be feeling better with no worsening symptoms to exit isolation. If you are immune compromised and if hospitalized, you must isolate for 14 days, and must be feeling better with no worsening symptoms to exit isolation. A list of conditions or treatments that can result in someone being immune compromised can be found here.

PLEASE NOTE: You do not require testing to exit isolation as a positive case of COVID-19.

If you have arrived from international travel in the previous 14 days, you are also subject to applicable federal measures.

How long am I infectious or able to spread COVID-19 to others?

  • Beginning 48 hours (two days) before symptoms started, or, if no symptoms, 48 hours before the positive test was taken
  • Ending 7 days from the time you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (or from the date you tested positive, whichever is shorter) provided no symptoms or if symptoms are improving and you have not had a fever in the last 24 hours.

    • If your symptoms are not improving your infectious period extends to day 10

    • If you are experiencing a COVID-rebound: Some individuals may experience a brief return of symptoms between 2 to 8 days after initial recovery from illness. Individuals who experience a rebound in their COVID symptoms AND who continue to test positive on a rapid antigen test remain infectious and should stay in isolation for an additional 5 days after symptoms return to prevent spreading the virus to others. More information on COVID-19 rebound is available here.

  • If you are immune compromised, ending 10 days from the time you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (or from the date you tested positive, whichever is shorter) AND provided no symptoms or you are feeling better (no fever and improving).


How do I count my isolation days?

The first day of self-isolation is Day 0. For positive cases – Day 0 is considered the day symptoms started or if you do not have symptoms, it would be the date of positive test.

Day 0 is counted as one of the isolation days – you can come out of isolation on the morning of your Day 7 or Day 10.

For example:

  • If you developed symptoms on Monday and tested positive on Tuesday, then Day 0 is considered Monday with the onset of symptoms – isolation ends on Day 7, the following Monday (am) when you wake up.
  • If immune compromised and tested positive on Friday (no symptoms), then Day 0 is considered Friday - isolation ends on Day 10, the second Monday following positive test (am) when you wake up.

When am I considered recovered?

You are considered recovered when you are no longer infectious or able to spread COVID-19 (see previous question). For those who are immunocompromised or have severe disease (i.e., need to be hospitalized), this period can be longer.

For the 60 days after you tested positive, COVID-19 testing is typically not recommended. If you develop symptoms in these two months, you must self-isolate until symptoms resolve.


If I interacted with individuals during my infectious period before and wore a properly fitting medical mask or three layer mask including a filter layer, are they considered close contacts?

If you were wearing a properly fitting medical mask, or a three layer non medical mask that includes a filter layer, or a respirator, throughout the interaction, the other individuals would not be considered close contacts.


What if I am pregnant and have been diagnosed with COVID-19?

Please call QEH Labour and Delivery at 902-894-2243 to connect with a health care provider who will give you direction regarding your prenatal care during your isolation period and for the duration of your pregnancy.


Are there supports available during my isolation?

Any Islander who is currently impacted by COVID 19 should visit COVID-19 Supports and Services to access available funding programs, emergency isolation support, and mental health support services.


If I am diagnosed with COVID-19 and a few days later another member of my household is diagnosed with COVID-19, when does my isolation end?

Your isolation as a positive COVID-19 case ends when you have completed 7 days (or 10 days if immune compromised) of isolation, so you can then return to work, school etc.


What if I require an official record of my COVID-19 test result?

If you require an official record of your COVID-19 test result done at a testing site or Healthcare Facility, visit Request your COVID-19 Test Result Report.


I have tested positive for COVID-19 at a PEI COVID-19 testing clinic or considered to be positive for COVID-19 based on exposure history and symptoms , what is my advice regarding testing for COVID-19 in the future?

If you test positive you are required to isolate. You should not be tested again during your isolation period.

Rapid molecular testing at a testing clinic is not recommended for individuals who have had a previous positive test result in the past 60 days or were considered to be positive for COVID-19 based on exposure history and symptoms.  Some people continue to test positive for several weeks after their infection. This does not mean you are still infectious.  

If you participate in a rapid antigen test screening program

  • If you tested positive/were considered to be positive for COVID-19 based on exposure history and symptoms AND completed your self-isolation period AND are not experiencing symptoms, you can begin rapid antigen test screening programs after a period of 60 days from your positive result
  • If you tested positive more than 60 days ago - complete rapid antigen test screening as directed or recommended and if test is positive seek confirmatory testing at a COVID-19 testing clinic.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 at a PEI COVID-19 testing clinic or were considered to be positive for COVID-19 based on exposure history and symptoms in the past 60 days and you develop symptoms, stay home until your symptoms have resolved or are improving. Testing is not recommended.  

If you are identified as a close contact within 60 days of your positive test result and

  • you are not required to self-isolate, you should monitor for symptoms and if symptoms develop, stay home until your symptoms have resolved or are improving. Testing is not recommended.   
  • If you are identified as a close contact more than 60 days of your positive test result, follow the advice outlined for standard close contacts here.

Who is considered immune compromised?

Examples of immunocompromised or immunosuppressed individuals include

  • receipt of treatment for solid tumors and hematologic malignancies (including individuals with lymphoid malignancies who are being monitored without active treatment),
  • receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy,
  • receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy),
  • moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, common variable immunodeficiency, Good’s syndrome, hyper IgE syndrome),
  • advanced or untreated HIV infection, and/or
  • active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20 mg prednisone or equivalent per day when administered for ≥2 weeks), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.


What is COVID-rebound?

COVID-rebound is a term being used for a brief return of symptoms between 2 to 8 days after initial recovery from illness. The phenomenon has been observed in people who have taken Paxlovid™ although it may also occur as a normal progression of infection in some people regardless of treatment. Paxlovid continues to be recommended for early stage treatment of people at higher risk for severe illness and hospitalization, and there is no evidence that rebound infections are more severe or require additional treatment at this time.

Patients who experience a rebound in their COVID symptoms AND who continue to test positive on a rapid antigen test remain infectious and should stay in isolation for an additional 5 days after symptoms return to prevent spreading the virus to others. Rapid antigen tests are available to households at Access PEI sites across PEI.


What do I do if I think I have been exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace?

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and think that you may have been exposed in the workplace, you may be entitled to benefits if it is determined that COVID-19 is related to your work. More information is available through the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) here.


If I’m an employer whose employee has tested positive, what should I consider?

Visit the Business Guidance for employee diagnosed with COVID-19 webpage.

Published date: 
August 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