Information for those who test positive for COVID-19, persons with symptoms compatible with COVID-19, close contacts, and workplaces
updated: March 22, 2022
If you have concerns about your symptoms, contact your doctor, health care provider or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) for more information and guidance. The general COVID-19 phone line at APH does not provide medical advice.
If you develop severe symptoms requiring medical attention, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, call 9-1-1 or visit your nearest emergency department in Algoma.
The change in case and contact management in Algoma
Effective Friday, December 31, 2021, Algoma Public Health (APH) implemented changes to case and contact management processes to respond to the rapid spread of COVID-19, and to protect those most vulnerable, safeguard our hospital and ICU capacity, and redirect resources to COVID-19 immunization.
All changes are consistent with those announced by the province on December 30th, 2021.
APH is focusing case management on our high-risk settings, including long term care homes, retirement homes, elder care lodges, hospices, home care agencies, hospitals, paramedics, congregate living settings (e.g. shelter, group home, or correctional facility), Provincial Demonstration schools, hospital schools, and other health care settings at APH’s discretion. General workplaces, schools, and daycares are not considered high risk settings.
Positive cases in high risk settings will receive full case and contact management by APH, while other cases in the community will be asked to self-identify and inform their close contacts. This means that not everyone will get a call from public health or the provincial workforce with guidance on next steps.
This webpage provides you with detailed guidance to protect yourself and others. We need you to help control the spread of COVID-19.
This page provides guidance on what to do if:
- I want to get PCR tested for COVID-19
- I think I have symptoms of COVID-19
- I tested positive for COVID-19 on a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at home or work
- I have symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19 (RAT or PCR)
- I believe I am a close contact, and am waiting to be notified
- I am a household member and/or close contact of someone who has COVID-19
- I work, volunteer or live in a high-risk setting
- I need help to self-isolate (e.g., I need a safe space or delivery of essentials like food)
- I am a parent, guardian or caregiver of a person who has symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive
- My business/organization has staff who are symptomatic or tested positive for or have symptoms of COVID-19
- I feel overwhelmed or worried about COVID-19
- I want to speak with public health
Important Documents for Cases, Contacts, and Persons in High Risk Settings:
- Wear a mask in these situations
- Letter for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or who have tested positive for COVID-19 (RAT and PCR
- Letter for close contacts
- COVID-19 Isolation and Testing Information for those who Work, Volunteer, or Live in a Highest-Risk Setting
- Rapid Antigen Test Results Reporting Form for High-Risk Settings Only (PDF)
Wednesday December 15, 2021
The Omicron variant of concern is suspected and presumed to be present in Algoma, and prompt protective actions are needed due to Omicron’s ability to spread very rapidly.
Extending Mandatory Measures to All Algoma Communities served by APH
- The number of attendees at social gatherings and organized public events is restricted to a maximum number of 10 people indoors, and 25 people outdoors.
- Algoma businesses and organizations are required strengthen masking and physical distancing requirements, and certain high risk close contact activities are prohibited.
Increasing 3rd Dose COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics in December for Algoma Residents at Highest Risk:
- Emerging evidence suggests that although two doses of COVID-19 vaccines still provide protection against severe disease and hospitalization from Omicron, vaccine effectiveness is reduced against this new variant, and two doses of vaccine do not provide strong protection against symptomatic infection. This means that people who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine can still be infected with the Omicron strain, and spread the infection to others.
- All Algoma residents are strongly urged to get a 3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible, and to help vulnerable family members and friends to get their 3rd dose. Currently, all people aged 50+, people who are Indigenous and their household members, health care workers, and people who received a viral vector primary vaccine series (AstraZeneca or Janssen) are eligible for a 3rd dose once 168 days have passed since their second dose. It is expected that additional groups will be eligible for 3rd doses soon in Ontario.
- APH and health partners have been working intensely to offer more vaccine clinics and appointment spots district-wide during the rest of December. This includes restarting mass immunization clinics and large community clinics such as those previously held at GFL Memorial Gardens in Sault Ste. Marie, and at the Collins Hall in Elliot Lake. As soon as we have enough staffing and vaccine supply confirmed for these new clinics, they will be made available for booking within the next few days. We thank all Algoma residents for their patience, and we extend our gratitude to all partners and volunteers who are giving their skills and time to this community effort, especially during the holiday season.
Increased Community Transmission of COVID-19 in Algoma and Threat of Omicron:
- Omicron-related exposures have already impacted a number of Algoma community settings.
- COVID-19 activity in Algoma is the highest that it has ever been since the beginning of the pandemic and Algoma’s rate of new COVID-19 cases is still among the highest in Ontario at this time.
- All communities across the Algoma district are at risk because people continue to routinely travel between communities.
- Algoma residents of all ages have been affected, with higher rates of infection in younger adults and children.
- Although fully immunized people are very well protected from getting severe disease and needing hospitalization from COVID-19, they can still get sick from COVID-19 and spread the infection to others who may be more vulnerable.