Instructions for symptoms, positive cases and contacts

Last Updated: April 19, 2022

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is working to manage COVID-19 cases and contacts. This page includes instructions for individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been identified as a high-risk contact after being exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

What to do if you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19

Visit the Province of Ontario webpage at covid-19.ontario.ca/exposed for the most up-to-date and step-by-step instructions for recognizing COVID-19 symptoms, requirements for isolation, eligibility for COVID-19 testing and guidance for informing close contacts about their exposure.

You can also view the below flow charts to help determine what actions to take.

For highest risk settings, see Management of Cases and Contacts of COVID-19 in Ontario (PDF) for more information.

If you develop symptoms and you are at high-risk for severe illness

Some people are more likely than others to get seriously ill from COVID-19. If you are one of them, you should call your doctor to talk about possible treatments and extra monitoring. New antiviral treatments for COVID-19 can reduce your risk of serious illness if taken within five to seven days (depending on the treatment) of when your symptoms began. Individuals can access Ontario’s antiviral screening tool to help determine if they are at higher risk and should be assessed for treatment.

The following higher-risk groups are eligible to be tested and assessed for antiviral treatments, such as Paxlovid, in Ontario:

  • Individuals aged 18 and over who are immunocompromised (have an immune system that is weakened by a health condition or medications);
  • Individuals aged 70 and over;
  • Individuals aged 60 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses; and
  • Individuals aged 18 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses and at least one risk condition (e.g., a chronic medical condition)

Anyone who is eligible for an assessment is also eligible for a PCR test at any testing centre in Ontario.

 

If you have symptoms (even if mild) and are at higher risk of severe COVID-19, seek testing and care immediately by either:

  • visiting a clinical assessment centre (where you can get tested, assessed, and provided treatment or a prescription)
  • contacting a primary care provider (for example, your family doctor)

More information about antiviral treatments and a list of pharmacies that are dispensing Paxlovid is available at Ontario.ca/antivirals.

You can also call our Client and Community Service Call Centre at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006 for assistance with the process to access antivirals if you need support or have questions. However, do not delay seeking testing or care as noted above if public health is unavailable to assist, as we cannot prescribe or dispense antivirals.

Instructions for getting tested

Confirm you are eligible for COVID-19 testing. If so, please visit COVID-19 test and testing location information for a list of testing locations near you including assessment centres and participating pharmacies. You will need to book an appointment to get tested. You do not need an Ontario health card to get tested for COVID-19 at an assessment centre.

When going to get tested, drive yourself there if possible. If you must be a passenger in a vehicle, wear a face covering and sit in the back seat with the windows down. If possible, do not use public transportation or ride share services.

Visit wdgpublichealth.ca/test-results to access your results.

If you are interested in accessing rapid tests for COVID-19, please note these test are distributed by the Province and not WDG Public Health. Individuals looking to obtain rapid tests from the province should visit The Province’s Online Schedule for a list of pop-up distribution locations. Organizations interested in obtaining rapid tests for their staff should visit covid-19.ontario.ca/get-free-rapid-tests to learn more about the Provincial Antigen Screening Program. 

Preparing for self-isolation

Download the PHAC COVID-19 - Be Prepared fact sheet or visit the website. Take time to consider what you will do if you or a family member becomes sick and needs care. Think about:

  • What food and household supplies you need for you and your family.
  • What medicines you need, including renewing and refilling prescriptions ahead of time.
  • Who can you reach out to for help.

Discuss your plans with your family, friends and neighbours, and set up a system to check in on each other by phone, email or text during times of need.

Mental health supports

The uncertainty surrounding your experience with COVID-19 plus being separated from others while you recover at home in isolation can be stressful. Emotional reactions may include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones.
  • Stress from regularly monitoring yourself for symptoms or being monitored by others.
  • Sadness because friends or loved ones have fears of getting the virus from you.
  • Frustration with having to take time off work and possibly losing out on income.
  • Guilt about not being able to perform usual caregiving duties while you recover.

If you notice that your symptoms of stress and anxiety are causing you significant distress or are interfering with your ability to function normally, please reach out for local support:

City of Guelph and Wellington County

  • Here 24/7 Addiction, Mental Health and Crisis Services
  • 1-888-437-3247

Dufferin County

  • 24.7 Crisis Support
  • 1-888-811-2222