Information for people who have tested positive for COVID-19

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

Stay home when ill.

  • Staying home when you are sick lowers the chance of spreading COVID-19 and other illness to others. You should stay home until:
    • your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you had nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea),
    • you do not have a fever, and
    • you do not develop any additional symptoms.
  • Until your symptoms have improved, you should not leave your home except to seek medical care. For 10 days after your symptoms started, if you must leave home, you should wear a mask in all indoor public settings and avoid visiting individuals at higher risk for severe illness (for example, seniors) and higher risk settings, such as a long-term care home.
  • Seek medication if you are at high risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19. Paxlovid™ is an oral antiviral medication to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults who are at higher risk of severe illness. Not everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 would benefit from antiviral treatment.
  • If you have severe symptoms like chest pain or difficulty breathing, go to the nearest emergency department.

Notify your close contacts.

  • Close contacts include your household members and anyone you spent more than 15 minutes with in face-to-face contact within the 48 hours prior to your symptoms starting.
  • Notifying your close contacts raises their awareness to monitor for symptoms, test with a COVID-19 rapid antigen test if symptoms develop, seek treatment (if indicated), and stay home if they are feeling sick.
  • Rapid antigen tests are available at Access PEI locations and other sites across PEI. It is a good idea to have a test in your home in case you or one of your family members develop symptoms.

Notify your employer (if applicable).

  • If you were at work during your infectious period, notify your employer that you tested positive for COVID-19, particularly if you work in a vulnerable setting such as a hospital or long-term care home.
  • A lab-based (molecular) COVID-19 test is not required as confirmation that an employee is positive.

If you are pregnant, notify your health care provider.

  • If you do not have a primary care provider, 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 when you are feeling unwell and for the duration of your pregnancy.

Take precautions to protect others during your recovery.

  • You may be contagious for up 10 days or more since your symptoms first appeared.  Therefore, for 10 days after your symptoms started:
    • wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings
    • avoid non-essential activities where you need to take off your mask (for example, dining out)
    • avoid non-essential visits to anyone who is immunocompromised or may be at higher risk of illness (for example, seniors)
    • avoid non-essential visits to highest risk settings in the community such as hospitals and long-term care homes
  • Some people can experience a brief return of symptoms between two to eight days after initial recovery from illness.  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 five days after symptoms return to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Published date: 
October 31, 2023
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