Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common symptoms of COVID-19 may include:
- new or worsening cough (not related to other known causes or conditions)
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (not related to other known causes or conditions)
- fever - temperature equal to or over 38°C and/or chills
Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include (if not related to other known causes or conditions):
- fatigue, lethargy (general feeling of being unwell, lack of energy, extreme tiredness)
- muscle aches and pain (unexplained, unusual and long lasting)
- nasal congestion (stuffy nose)
- decrease or loss of smell or taste
- nausea and/or vomiting
- abdominal pain
Atypical symptoms can include:
- conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- decreased or lack of appetite (for young children and not related to other known causes or conditions)
If you have symptoms of COVID-19
Individuals who are vaccinated, as well as children under 12 who have symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to isolate for five days following the onset of symptoms. These individuals can end isolation after five days if their symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours, and all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed.
Individuals who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or immunocompromised will be required to isolate for 10 days.
All household contacts must also isolate for the same duration as the person with symptoms, regardless of their vaccination status. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should also consider informing close contacts beyond your household contacts by providing them with the link to Ontario.ca/exposed. Individuals who are eligible for a lab-based PCR test are encouraged to get tested.
If you have concerns about your symptoms, contact your doctor, health care provider or Telehealth for more information and guidance. If you develop severe symptoms requiring medical attention, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, call 911.
If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 but are feeling unwell, isolate until symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours.
If you’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
If you are fully vaccinated and you have no symptoms, and do not live with the positive case, you are advised to:
- Self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days since you last interacted with the positive case
- Maintain masking, physical distancing and adherence to all other public health measures if leaving home
- Do not visit any high-risk settings or individuals who may be at higher risk of illness (e.g., seniors) for 10 days from your last exposure.
If you are not fully vaccinated, or are immunocompromised, you must isolate immediately for 10 days following your last contact. If you live with the positive case, you must isolate for the length of their isolation period.
Individuals who are eligible for testing are encouraged to get tested.
If you have COVID-19 based on a positive test result
If you test positive from a PCR, rapid molecular or a rapid antigen test and you are fully vaccinated or under 12 years of age, you must isolate for five days from the positive test result if you have no symptoms or from symptom onset and until their symptoms are improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms).
If you are partially vaccinated, unvaccinated or immunocompromised, you should self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, or from the date of your test (whichever came sooner).
In addition, household contacts of individuals who have tested positive must also self-isolate during this time. Individuals must isolate regardless of their vaccination status.
You should also notify your close contacts. A close contact is anyone you were less than two metres away from for at least 15 minutes, or multiple shorter lengths of time, without personal protective equipment in the 48 hours before your symptoms began or your positive test result, whichever came first.
How can I protect myself against COVID-19?
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you are unwell
- Cough/sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve or arm (immediately wash your hands after)
- Don't touch your face
- Clean your hands before eating/drinking
- Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, like bathroom sinks, kitchen counters, etc.
What steps is St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital taking to keep patients, visitors and staff safe?
- STEGH is coordinating with Public Health Ontario, the Ministry of Health and other agencies to help guide decision-making and receive updates on the virus.
- Visiting Guidelines have been implemented to limit the volume of traffic within the hospital.
- Active screening with controlled entry for ALL patients, visitors and staff.
- Physical distancing cues have been installed and are enforced throughout the hospital.
- Physical barriers have been installed in all clinic areas and perimeter screening locations.
- Universal Masking Policy has been implemented.