Since COVID-19 presented as a global threat, countries around the world have been working to learn more about the virus and protect their citizens from illness and death. In Canada, our government has asked us to limit our movements, take precautions where we can and get tested if we feel unwell.
As you work and interact with your community, you may be wondering about the best isolation precautions for coronavirus in order to best protect yourself and those around you.
We’ve put together a list of isolation precautions for coronavirus to help you control your day-to-day activities:
Precaution #1: Choose Your Outings Carefully
We all have to go out at some point, whether you need to go to work, buy groceries, run basic errands or make an emergency trip to the dentist. If you can, try to spread your outings apart, limiting your exposure to others. If there are some things you and your family can accomplish online, try to do so for at least a third of your errands.
Precaution #2: Have a Backup Isolation Plan
Having a backup plan is an important isolation precaution for coronavirus. If you have the time, try to be flexible about visiting offices and stores. Don’t be discouraged by line-ups—sometimes the stores with lines are the ones doing a good job of limiting the number of people inside. If the store or office is crowded inside, try to return to the store later, either first thing in the morning or just before closing time.
When you enter a public place, take a quick look to see if they have COVID precautions in place. Are they limiting the number of visitors? Do they have sanitizer and extra masks available? Is there adequate space for waiting? Are there plexiglass shields to separate cashiers from customers? Are they screening their clients or customers for symptoms of COVID? The more precautions an organization has in place, the more you can feel comfortable spending time within their walls.
You’ve likely heard the COVID screening questions over and over. Have you travelled outside the country? Have you been in contact with a known case of COVID? Do you have any of the known symptoms? Rather than tune them out, be grateful they are in place. Chances are, if an establishment is taking the time to screen your symptoms, they are looking after your wellbeing in other ways, too.
When outside your home, remember to keep your distance from others. This involves paying attention to the direction and pace at which others are moving. Where possible, try to anticipate when you may need to step aside or step back, in order to avoid getting too close. If an area looks overly crowded, try to avoid it altogether.
Precaution #6: Build Healthy Habits
At the moment, part of staying healthy means practising good health habits. Be sure to use hand sanitizer regularly when you are on the go. When you get home, wash your hands immediately with plenty of soap and water. Wash your reusable mask after each outing and use disposable masks for single-use only.
Precaution #7: Shrink Your Bubble
It can be hard to reduce your social bubble without hurting the feelings of others. Equally, it can be tricky to avoid an occasional trip inside unless you have clear guidelines. To make things easier on yourself and others, set firm social boundaries—make your social bubble known to all and be clear that when public guidelines advise against it, you won’t be going in anyone else’s home or having them inside yours.
Precaution #8: Play It Safe
If someone in your house feels unwell, or has suspicious symptoms, don’t wait to see if they get worse before taking action. Experts advise, if they have a single symptom—perhaps a runny nose or a scratchy throat—stay home for 24 hours to see if symptoms progress. Before returning to school or work, speak to your doctor to make sure you don’t require a COVID test.
Precaution #9: Download Government Apps
To help the government track and trace cases of COVID-19, download the Government of Canada’s COVID Alert app, which helps to anonymously track your exposure to known cases. If you have spent up to fifteen minutes in close proximity to someone who later identifies themselves as having had a positive test, you will receive an alert on your phone or other device. You can choose to get tested yourself or simply monitor your symptoms.
If there was ever a time to be cautious around illness, it’s now. Due to the nature of COVID-19, we know that carriers can be asymptomatic for a period of up to several days. During this time, you could unknowingly spread the virus to others. We hope these isolation precautions for coronavirus help you to feel more in control of your risk and your day-to-day decisions.