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When do you need to self-isolate? Manitoba's top doctor outlines new rules for close contacts of COVID-19 cases

Elisabetta Bianchini
·2-min read
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba chief public health officer, speaks during the province's latest COVID-19 update at the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg Wednesday, December 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba chief public health officer, speaks during the province's latest COVID-19 update at the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg Wednesday, December 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, announced changes to the self-isolation requirements for people in the province, while Manitoba also lowers the threshold for prolonged contact from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.

Dr. Roussin added that high risk contact could be as little as "a few seconds or minutes."

If someone in a household tests positive for COVID-19, everyone in that household will be considered close contacts.

"In the past we allowed, in certain circumstances, positive cases to self-isolate within the home if they had certain precautions in place," Dr. Roussin explained. "Everyone within a household with a positive case is going to be deemed a close contact."

Close contacts will be required to self-isolate for minimum of 14 days, regardless of test results. If a close contact of a case lives in a different home, everyone in that additional residence will need to self-isolate until the close contact receives a negative test result.

Close contacts without symptoms will be advised to get a test at 10 days, from the date of their last exposure to a positive case.

If someone in the household of a case or close contact is a healthcare worker, Dr. Roussin said occupation health and safety will be involved but "there may be times where somebody who would normally be able to or wanting to be self-isolating may be able to return to the workplace." He added that this would be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Manitoba reported 97 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, with a test positivity rate of 5.4 per cent provincially. The province also confirmed two additional deaths due to COVID-19, both females in their 90s.

Check out our COVID-19 in Canada topic page for latest news, tips, health updates, cases and more.