covid isolation rules canada

Canada now recommends 10 days for COVID-19 self-isolation instead of 2 weeks

Well, Canada, it looks like the self-isolation period is getting shorter; a person with COVID-19 should now isolate for 10 days, a four day reduction from the previous recommendation.

Speaking at a Friday press conference, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that the updated guidelines are based on the evolving science.

Tam was responding to a question from a reporter, who asked if she supported Quebec's decision to lower the recommended self-isolation period to 10 days.

"With the special advisory committee, we had previously already discussed this recommendation, and it is something that has already been published," Tam said.

"What Quebec has communicated today aligns with the existing guidelines that the Public Health Agency has already published in working with the province and territories."

However, Tam explained that there's been some confusion when it comes to the difference between quarantine and isolation — which are actually two very separate things.

"In quarantine, we're talking about ... when someone could become symptomatic," Tam clarified. "That is up to 14 days, and our period of quarantine has not changed to date."

That would include international travellers that arrive in Canada, for example.

Tam says what has actually changed is the isolation period for someone that has already tested positive for COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19 in Quebec, you're now free to come out of isolation after 10 days, presuming you're asymptomatic for at least 24 hours (which includes not having a fever for 48 hours).

Tam added that Quebec isn't the first region in Canada to lower the self-isolation period to 10 days.

"A number of other jurisdictions are already doing that," she explained. "Quebec is just joining others."

Not all jurisdictions have made the switch, though, so patients with COVID-19 should double check their provincial guidelines before coming out of isolation after 10 days.

Lead photo by

Dominic Bugatto

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