Close contacts include people living together, family members who interact closely, people who work in close physical proximity to each other, and anyone providing direct care to, or having other close physical contact with another person. Whether a worker should self-isolate will depend on their particular situation.
There are many situations where a worker may be a close contact of a person who may have been exposed to or contracted COVID-19. For example:
- Someone returning from another country who is subject to quarantine and self-isolation requirements
- An essential worker who continues to travel
- A health care or social sector worker
- A person who has a confirmed or presumed diagnosis of COVID-19
- A person who is showing signs of illness, such as a fever or a new cough.
The BCCDC requires people who are contacts of a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 to self-isolate.
The Provincial Health Officer and BC Ministry of Health have published the following guidance documents on self-isolation for people who are or may have been exposed to COVID-19:
- Guide for caregivers and household members of those with COVID-19 ('close contacts') provides practical guidance for caring for or living with someone who has COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms
- Self-Isolation for Multi-Generational Households provides advice about how to self-isolate after arriving home from travelling, and guidance around how to self-isolate when living with others.
- Essential Workers Returning to BC sets out the requirements of the Federal Quarantine Act Order and the Provincial Health Officer Order for returning travelers and provides advice for essential workers who travel outside of BC around self-isolating
- Self-isolation for travelers returning to Canada or exposure to a COVID-19 case provides direction for people who have returned from travel outside of Canada, and anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19
- Social Service Providers provides guidance for social service providers, including workers in shelters and group homes, who may have exposure to COVID-19.
A person who is living with someone who is self-isolating may also consider self-isolating if they are not able to avoid contact with the person in their home, or if they believe there is an increased risk for developing COVID-19.