Instructions for home isolation
Person under investigation for COVID-19
Your doctor will tell you when it is safe to return to your regular activities.
Remain at Home
• Do not go to school, work, a childcare (CPE) or daycare facility or any other public space. Your doctor can
provide a medical certificate explaining why you are absent.
• Do not use public transit.
• Postpone any non-urgent medical appointments.
• Do not invite visitors into your home. Ideally, only people who have already been exposed
in your home, and your natural caregivers, should remain in the house.
• Stay alone in your home in the same room as often as possible, with the door closed.
• Eat and sleep alone, always in the same room. Do not change rooms.
• If possible, use a bathroom not used by anyone else. Otherwise, disinfect it after each use.
• As much as possible, avoid contact with other people in the home. If this is not possible, wear a mask
over your mouth and nose. If no mask is available, stay at least two metres (about the length of a kitchen
table) away from others.
• Air out the house often by opening a window, weather permitting. This is especially important for
Wear a Mask
• Wear a mask whenever anyone else in the home is in the same room as you.
If you cannot, the others should wear masks.
• If you need to leave home for medical reasons, contact Info-Santé 811 and state that you are under
investigation for COVID-19. The Info-Santé nurse will contact the Public Health Department.
Cough and/or Sneeze Into Your Sleeve or Onto a Paper Tissue
• Use a paper tissue to cough, sneeze and wipe your nose.
• Throw away the tissue into a garbage can then wash your hands.
• If paper tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your sleeve/elbow.
Wash Your Hands Often
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Dry with a paper towel or with a cloth hand towel only used by you.
• If soap and water are unavailable, use a hand sanitizer containing 70% alcohol.
• Wash your hands before eating, after using the toilet, and whenever your hands appear dirty.
• If you have a pet, wash your hands before and after touching it.
Do not Share Personal Items
• Do not share plates, utensils, glasses, towels, sheets, clothing or any other items.
• Wash dishes and utensils with soap and water after each use, or use the dishwasher.
Watch for Symptoms and Take Your Temperature Every Day
Use a personal thermometer. If anyone else uses the same thermometer, disinfect it first.
• Take your temperature at the same time every day and keep written track of the readings.
• If you are taking medication to lower your fever, wait at least four hours after swallowing it before taking
Contact Info-Santé 811 if the Following Symptoms Appear or Worsen:
• Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or chest pain
• Severe diarrhea or vomiting
• Unusual, severe fatigue
Do not forget to state that you are under investigation for COVID-19.
If the Info-Santé nurse recommends that you go to the hospital, you will also be told how to get there and what
precautions are needed–wearing a mask, using personal transport or an ambulance, etc. The hospital will also
be notified in advance of your arrival.
You Can Call Info-Social 811 (Psychosocial Telephone Assistance 24/7) if You are
Experiencing Any of the Following:
• Stress and/or anxiety
• Lasting emotional reactions (frequent crying, irritability, etc.)
• Obsessive ideas that never stop, taking over your mind and frightening you
• Fear of the social consequences of the illness
Psychosocial health professionals will provide you with support and share information and counselling in
accordance with your needs.
If a Family Member or Friend Needs to Help You With Your Daily Activities Such as
Eating, Using the Bathroom, Walking, Changing Chairs, etc.
Ideally, the same person should always be the one to help you. This person must be in good health, not have a
chronic illness such as asthma or diabetes, not be currently treated for cancer or be taking several types of
You must wear a mask whenever anyone else is in the same room as you.
Before helping you, this helper must:
• Wash their hands
• Put on a mask
• Put on disposable gloves
During and after providing you with care, this person must not touch their face with their hands.
After helping you, this person must:
• Remove the gloves and throw them away in a garbage can with a closable lid, out of the reach of children
• Wash their hands
• Take off their mask and throw it away in a garbage can with a closable lid, out of the reach of children
• Wash their hands again
Precautions to be Taken by the Person That Does the Laundry and Cleans Your Home
The sick person’s sheets, towels and clothes soiled by secretions and/or feces should be placed in a cloth or
plastic bag. These items may be washed with those of other members of the household, as long as the
following precautions are taken:
• Wash in hot water
• Wear disposable gloves and avoid any direct contact between your exposed skin and
clothes and the clothes, sheets and towels used by the sick person
• Do not shake out the dirty laundry or the bag containing the dirty clothes
The sick person’s garbage can be placed in a bag and tossed into a garbage can (ideally one with a closable lid).
Close the bag tightly first and place it with the other household garbage.
Wash your hands with soap and water after any contact with the sick person and/or objects and surfaces that
have been touched by them, such as a night table, dishware, etc. Also wash your hands before and after
preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet and whenever your hands appear to be dirty. If soap and
water are not available, use a hand sanitizer containing 70% alcohol.
Utensils and dishes used by the sick person must be washed with regular dish soap or detergent and water.
Clean and disinfect the following at least once a day:
• Surfaces frequently touched by the sick person, such as door handles, a night table, bed frame and
other bedroom furniture
• Bathroom and toilet
• As much as possible, the sick should themselves clean and disinfect all areas specifically reserved for
For disinfection, prepare a solution of 1 part 5% household bleach to 9 parts water (e.g. 1 cup bleach and 9
Q&A: CORONAVIRUS AND HOME ISOLATION
What is the novel coronavirus?
The novel coronavirus is a virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes respiratory infections. The illness caused by the virus
is called COVID-19.
What are the symptoms of the illness?
The main symptoms are fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms can develop, such as nausea,
vomiting, headache, muscle pain and diarrhea.
How does the respiratory infection spread?
It spreads from person to person through contact with droplets expelled into the air when an infected sick
person talks, coughs or sneezes. The virus may also spread through contact with feces.
Why is home isolation required?
To avoid spreading the illness to others.
When can home isolation be discontinued?
When your doctor informs you that it is no longer needed.
More information is available from Info-Santé 811 or Québec.ca/coronavirus.
Adapted with authorization by the Centre intégré universitaire du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal