COVID-19 Info: For Albertans | For Health Professionals | VaccineTesting | Results | Family Support & Visitation

A CMOH order remains in effect that requires continuous masking at all AHS and Covenant facilities provincewide.

Isolation & Quarantine Information

COVID-19

Last Updated: July 29, 2021

Learn about Isolation & Quarantine

COVID-19 Variants|Results|What, How, When to Isolate / Quarantine|Help to Isolate & Quarantine|Children & Families|Exemptions

COVID-19 Variants

Variants now make up a significant proportion of COVID-19 cases in Alberta. If you test positive for COVID-19 you will receive an initial notification of your test results. You should assume you have a variant strain of COVID-19. See ahs.ca/variants for more information.

Results

I Am Waiting for My Result

If you have been tested for COVID-19, it is important that you understand what to do while you await your tests results, and what it means if your COVID-19 test is positive or negative. If you went for testing because you had symptoms it is important to isolate while waiting for your results. Please go to ahs.ca/results

What, How, When to Isolate / Quarantine

What are Isolation & Quarantine?| How to Isolate & Quarantine| When Is My Isolation Over?| When Is My Quarantine Over?

What are Isolation & Quarantine?

Isolation and quarantine help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by reducing contact with others and reducing the number of people you could infect if you are sick. Both require staying home and avoiding situations where the virus could spread.

  • People who have tested positive for COVID -19 or have symptoms of COVID-19 MUST isolate for at least 10 days.
    • Individuals under 18 years do not have to isolate for only a runny nose or sore throat, but should stay home until well.
  • People who have returned from travel outside of Canada MUST follow federal isolation and quarantine requirements.

Learn more about Alberta’s provincial isolation and quarantine requirements.

Isolation and quarantine can be challenging, but they are important ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

How to Isolate & Quarantine

When you are in isolation or quarantine you must follow provincial and federal requirements.

  • Stay home.
  • Do not leave your home or attend school, day care, worship, work, social events, extra-curricular activities, public gatherings, or any other public places.
  • Do not go for walks in your neighbourhood or parks.
  • Get fresh air in your backyard, or on a private balcony, as long as you are on private property, can maintain six feet or two metres of distance from others, and the area is not accessible to others.
  • Do not use the elevators or stairwells to go outside if you live in an apartment or high rise.
  • Do not take public transportation, including buses, taxis or ride sharing. This is prohibited.
  • Avoid close contact with people in your household, especially seniors and people with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Do not have visitors to your home. Friends, family or delivery services can drop off food, medication and other supplies on your step.
  • Reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 by wearing a non-medical mask if you will be within six feet or two metres of people in your household.

It is highly recommended that ALL people with COVID-19 isolate completely away from their household members to prevent ongoing exposure when possible.

If you isolate at home:

  • Remain completely away from others, in a separate room with access to your own bathroom.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible. If not possible, put the toilet lid down before flushing. Clean and disinfect bathroom (all surfaces and light switches, taps) after use. Do not share towels.
  • Use a separate bedroom, if possible. If not possible, try to keep two metres apart, sleep head to toe or hang a sheet to separate from others.
  • If you must use a shared space, even temporarily when others are not present (such as a hallway to the bathroom), wear a mask.
  • Do not share household items like dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, blankets and pillows. After using these, wash them very well with soap and water, place in the dishwasher for cleaning, or wash in the washing machine.
  • It is still recommended that you remain isolated from household members who have been immunized.

Here are some more tips for when you have to isolate or quarantine:

  • All household members should wash hands often with soap and water thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty.
  • Encourage household members to not touch their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in the garbage and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and counters.
  • Monitor everyone for symptoms of COVID-19. Call Health Link at 811 if you have questions about your (or your family member’s) health.

Find more information on How to Care for a COVID-19 Patient at Home.

When Is My Isolation Over?

  • Isolation generally ends 10 full days after your symptoms start, UNLESS you still feel sick. If you feel sick you need to continue to isolate. Your continued isolation past 10 days can end when you have gone 24 hours without a fever, without taking fever-reducing medications (e.g. Advil or Tylenol), AND your other symptoms have improved. Some symptoms such as fatigue and cough may last longer than 10 days, but do not require a longer isolation.
  • If you never develop symptoms, your isolation period ends 10 full days after the date when your first positive COVID-19 swab was taken.
  • If you’ve been told by a health care provider that you have a weak immune system or you are immunocompromised, it is important you consult with your physician and follow their advice. They may recommend special testing and a longer isolation period (14 days but may be longer) to ensure you are not able to spread disease to others. Your isolation will end a minimum of 14 days after your symptoms start as long as you have not had a fever within the last 24 hours, without taking fever-reducing medications, AND your other symptoms have improved.
  • If you were hospitalized for COVID-19 and were advised by your physician to isolate for longer than the minimum 10 days, you should follow the instructions of your physician.
  • If your fever continues past 14 days or your COVID-19 symptoms are getting worse call your health care provider or 811.
  • For a medical emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department and tell them that you tested positive for COVID-19.

When is My Quarantine Over?

Help to Isolate & Quarantine

Resources are available if you can't isolate safely in your own home:

For provincial regulations, see Alberta Health Isolation and Quarantine Requirements.

Children & Families

General Guidance for When Your Child Has To Isolate| Your Child Is Sick or Has Been Exposed to COVID-19

For Children & Families

The AHS Parent COVID-19 Guide provides guidance about isolation based on symptoms. Use the links below to find specific information about what to do if your child feels unwell. This Guide also advises what household contacts need to do for each situation.

Your Child Has COVID-19 Symptoms

  • Your child has one or more of these COVID-19 symptoms that are new, worsening or not related to other known causes: fever; cough; shortness of breath; loss of sense of smell or taste. Learn more
  • Your child has one or more of these COVID-19 symptoms that are new, worsening or not related to other known causes (and none of the previously listed symptoms): chills; sore throat or painful swallowing; runny nose or congestion; feeling unwell or fatigued; nausea or vomiting or diarrhea; unexplained loss of appetite; muscle or joint aches; headache; conjunctivitis (pink eye). Learn more

All children need love, care and attention from care givers every day, even if they are in isolation or quarantine. If your child develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, choose one healthy family member to be the designated care giver for the sick child to help reduce spread of the virus to other household members. You are the best judge of how to care for your child, and may decide that it is not possible to have only one adult interact with your child for such an extended period of time.

For specific instructions learn more below:

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, follow the When Is My Isolation Over? section above.

For more information about how to isolate see How to Isolate and Quarantine.

General Guidance for When Your Child Has To Isolate

When your child is in mandatory isolation they:

  • Must stay home.
  • Cannot attend school, day care, work, social events, extra-curricular activities or public gatherings.
  • Cannot go for walks in their neighbourhood or parks.
  • Can get fresh air in your backyard, or on a private balcony, as long as they are on private property, can maintain six feet or two metres of distance from others, and the area is not accessible to others.
  • Cannot use the elevators or stairwells to go outside if they live in an apartment or high rise.
  • Cannot take public transportation, including buses, taxis or ride sharing.
  • Should try to avoid close contact with people in their household, especially seniors and people with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Should not have visitors to their home. Friends, family or delivery drivers can drop off supplies on your step.
  • Can help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 by wearing a non-medical mask if they will be within six feet or two metres of people in their household.

Here are some tips for when your child has to isolate:

  • All household members should wash hands often with soap and water thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty.
  • Encourage household members to not touch their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Individuals should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve when they cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in the garbage and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t share household items, like dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels and pillows. After using these, wash them very well with soap and water, place in the dishwasher for cleaning, or wash in the washing machine.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and counters.
  • Monitor everyone for symptoms of COVID-19. Call Health Link at 811 if you have questions about your (or your family member’s) health.

Here are some other tips that may help while your child is isolating:

  • Follow the How to Isolate and Quarantine section above.
  • Use delivery services (or ask friends) for groceries or other essential items.
    • Caregivers should avoid contact with bodily fluids from the child who is sick:
    • Wash hands often and thoroughly with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly soiled). Wash hands immediately after: providing care, before and after removing mask, after removing gloves, cleaning surfaces, handling soiled items, or interacting with the child who is sick or their environment.
    • Wear a disposable face mask and gloves if touching or have contact with bodily fluids. Throw these out after one use in a lined trash can. Wash hands thoroughly after handling these items or disposing of trash.
    • Wear disposable gloves when handling soiled items, such as clothes, bedding and used household items, and when cleaning surfaces that may be contaminated with bodily fluids.
  • Have the designated caregiver handle laundry as follows:
    • Immediately remove and wash soiled clothes or bedding.
    • Wear disposable gloves when possible while handling soiled items. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling.
    • Wash as per instructions on labels of items and use your detergent of choice. Generally wash and dry with the warmest temperatures recommended on labels of items.
  • Have the designated caregiver clean the space being used by the child who is sick:
    • Clean any contaminated surfaces as well as all high touch surfaces such as table tops, counters, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, bedside tables, keyboards, tablets, phones, etc. at least daily.
    • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning surfaces. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after removing and disposing of gloves.
    • Follow cleaning instructions on labels of products being used to clean surfaces. Regular household cleaners can be used. A diluted bleach solution of one part bleach to nine parts water may also be used if appropriate for surfaces being cleaned.
    • Dispose of items such as soiled tissues in a sealed garbage bag and leave out for garbage collection.

General Advice for Household Members If Your Child Is Sick

  • Watch your child and other household members closely for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If your child or another member of your household develops symptoms
    • They should stay home.
    • They should be tested for COVID-19. Please visit ahs.ca/testing for more information and to book a test.
    • Try to avoid close contact between your sick household member and other people in your household, especially seniors and people with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
    • Choose a room in your home you can use to separate sick household members from healthy ones, if possible. Choose a separate bathroom for sick individuals to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms as needed when someone is sick.

Exemptions

Exemptions to Mandatory Isolation

If you or your child is in mandatory isolation and needs COVID-19 testing, critical care for pre-existing medical conditions or emergency medical care:

  • Pre-arrange an appointment. You or your child should only leave their isolation area on the date and time of your appointment.
  • Use private transportation where possible.
  • Maintain physical distance from others when shared transportation is necessary.
  • Travel directly to the appointment and home again with no stops.
  • Have you or your child wear a mask.
  • Tell your health care provider(s) if you are experiencing symptoms, or have tested positive.
  • Follow all instructions provided by 811 or health-care providers.
  • Follow instructions provided by 911 if you require emergency care.