I think I have COVID-19.  What do I do?

 

**If you are very ill and need medical help right away, go to the nearest emergency department or call 9-1-1.**

 

There are online and telephone resources set up to help guide you to further care and potential testing.  

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, isolate yourself within the home and use the self-assessment tool:  Ontario Ministry of Health Self-Assessment Tool

 

Testing for COVID-19 is available for:

  • All people with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even for mild symptom
  • People with no symptoms who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19; includes people who are contacts of or may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case.
  • People with no symptoms who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment; includes essential workers (e.g., health care workers, grocery store employees, food processing plants).

For more details about assessment centres in our area visit COVID-19 ASSESSMENTS CENTRE locations in Grey Bruce

You can use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment for a recommendation on what to do next. 

Note: Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.

 

Have questions?  Who can you call?

  • Your healthcare provider. 
  • Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit at 519-376-9420 Extension 3000 or 1-800-263-3456 Extension 3000.

 

 

Self-isolation is for anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or anyone who has been instructed to separate yourself from others to help prevent the spread of the virus. Self-isolation when you are sick means that you do not leave your home unless absolutely necessary, such as to see medical care.

  • Stay in your home
  • Seek services over the phone or online and ask for help from others if needed.
  • Order grocery or pharmacy delivery or have a friend, family member or neighbour deliver them (register at www.thedo.ca for volunteer help or call 211)
  • Open a window for fresh air
  • Use the phone or internet to connect with family or friends

 

What not to do while self-isolating:

  • No visitors (only those essential and for medical reasons)
  • No grocery shopping in the store
  • No going to work or other activities
  • No going for a walk outside

 

Who should self-isolate?

Take the COVID-19 self-assessment online or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-000 for more information about who should self-isolate.  Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, even if symptoms are mild, should self-isolate immediately

People who should self-isolate include:

  • People who have travelled internationally in the past 14 days
  • Those who have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19
  • People experiencing symptoms
  • People with compromised immune systems
  • People with a chronic health condition
  • Older adults 70 years of age and older

 

Resources:

 

Take the COVID-19 self-assessment online to help determine how to seek further care and next steps. You can also call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.

 

Physical Activity and Self-Isolation 

If you are a confirmed positive case for COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please self-isolate indoors and open a window for fresh air. Even with mild symptoms, self-isolate indoors.

 

While in self-isolation, it is still just as important as ever to keep physically active for maintaining both physical and mental well-being. There are plenty of physical activities that can be done around the home. Some ideas include:

  • Online exercise classes
  • Jump rope
  • Stair stepping
  • Planking
  • Lunges
  • Cleaning
  • Weight lifting

 

Please visit WHO – Stay Physically Active During Quarantine for more ideas.

 

Resources:

Active for Life – 200 Activities You Can do with Kids at Home

Finding Balance – Exercises at the Kitchen Sink

Fact Sheet - COVID-19: Delivering items to someone in self-isolation who is potentially or confirmed infected with COVID-19

Public health direction to self-monitor for COVID-19 means that you should monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after being in a situation where you may have come in contact with the virus.

 

How to self-monitor (Public Health Ontario)

On May 25th, the province has changed eligibility for testing for COVID-19.

 

Effective immediately, testing is available for the following populations:

 Symptomatic testing:

  • All people with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even for mild symptoms.
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Muscle aches
    • Fatigue (feeling tired)
    • Headache
    • Sore Throat
    • Runny Nose
    • Hoarse voice
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Loss of sense of smell or taste
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea or vomiting

 

  • Older adults may also experience symptoms like:
    • Chills
    • Delirium
    • Falls
    • Acute Functional Decline
    • Increased Heart Rate
    • Decreased Blood Pressure

 

Asymptomatic (showing now signs or symptoms), risk-based testing:

  • People who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19. This includes people who are contacts of or may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case.
  • People who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment, including essential workers (e.g., health care workers, grocery store employees, food processing plants).

 

The Province has also stated that:

No Ontarian who is symptomatic or who is concerned they have been exposed to COVID-19 will be declined a test at an Assessment Centre (either through appointment or walk-in, per the processes of each individual Assessment Centre).

This is a directive to all people living in Ontario.

Testing is available at local assessment centres at hospitals in Owen Sound, Kincardine and Hanover.

A mobile service for testing is available if you are unable to get to a local assessment centre. Clients wanting this service must call the Grey Bruce Health Unit at 1-800-263-3456 extension 3000 Monday to Friday - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Some healthcare providers like family physicians and nurse practitioners are also able to provide testing.

As approved by First Nations chiefs and in collaboration with their staff, on reserve healthcare facilities will provide assessment to anyone living on First Nations reserves with any new or worsening respiratory symptoms.

 

To learn more about COVID-19, visit our webpage: What is COVID-19?

Patients do not require an appointment to visit an Assessment Centre, please use the following guidelines to determine if you should come:

  1. If you at least one sign or symptom of COVID-19, go to the nearest Assessment Centre. COVID-19 Self-Assessment.
  2. If you do not have signs or symptoms, but are concerned about exposure to COVID-19, you may be eligible for testing.  For more details, visit COVID-19 ASSESSMENTS CENTRE locations in Grey Bruce
  3. If you are very ill, go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1

 

There are three assessment centres in our region as well as a mobile testing site for those who are unable to get to an assessment centre. Click here for locations and details:

 

We recommend to check the hours of operation as they may change depending on need. 

Please Note: 

If driving to an Assessment Centre, some sites will have staff ask for your cell number before you get out of your car. You can remain in your car until you get a text to enter the Centre. We’re doing our part to keep you safe.

It takes about 4 to 5 days to get test results.  You should self-isolate while you wait for your results. 

 

Positive COVID-19 test results - Individuals are contacted by their local Public Health Unit.  The Grey Bruce Health Unit will continue to contact all Grey Bruce residents whose results indicate positive. Further direction for self-isolation will be provided and contact tracing will be required of those individuals.

 

Negative COVID-19 test results - Beginning April 20, individuals who test negative will not be contacted directly by the Grey Bruce Health Unit.  

 

How to get your test results:

Results for those tested for COVID-19 are available through a provincial online portal. You will need a photo health card and personal details to log in. To allow for processing, check the online portal about 5 days after the test swab has been taken.

 

Those who do not have access to the online portal should wait about 5 days after the test swab has been taken and then call the Grey Bruce Health Unit at 1-800-263-3456 Extension 3000.

If you have trouble breathing or if your symptoms get worse suddenly, you should go to the hospital.

  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain

 

Call your local emergency department to let them know that you are planning to come to the Emergency Room and you have symptoms of COVID-19.

At this time, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 or any natural health products that are authorized to treat or protect against COVID-19. Any new treatments or vaccines must be approved by Health Canada.

Most people with mild coronavirus illness will recover on their own. Your health care provider may recommend steps you can take to relieve symptoms.

Some general recommendations to help fight COVID-19 illness include:

  • drink plenty of fluids
  • get rest and sleep as much as possible
  • try a humidifier or a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough
 

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