Novel Coronavirus COVID-19
 

Close Contact Notification


Evidence shows that vaccination and treatment can help lessen the impact of COVID-19on the health care system. In response to the omicron variant of concern and the probability that case numbers will increase significantly, Manitoba is shifting public health resources to increase vaccination rates and support treatment. This includes changes to case and contact management including asking confirmed cases to identify and notify their close contacts.


In most situations, public health officials will no longer be notifying close contacts. Confirmed COVID-19 cases will be asked to notify their contacts.

In some settings, such as personal care homes, shelters, and health care facilities, public health officials will work with the facility to notify close contacts.


Manitoba is moving towards self-management of COVID-19.

With increasing access to rapid antigen tests, high transmission rates and shorter incubation periods, it is more effective for COVID-19 cases to notify their own contacts.

Close contacts are the people you were around two days before the start of your symptoms, as well as 10 days after your symptoms develop. This is your period of communicability, when you were most likely to spread COVID-19 to others. For case, who tested positive without symptoms, the period of communicability extends from two ádays before your lab test to 10 days after you had the test.

Close contacts are people who you have shared space with during your period of communicability. Specifically, these are people you were within two metres/six feet for a total of 10 minutes over a 24-hour period.


Figuring out who your close contacts were can take a little work. To help keep track you can use the Contact Tracing Resource Tool.

When thinking about who your close contacts were, ask yourself questions such as:

  • Who lives with you?
  • Have you gone to work, school, or daycare (if the case is a child)?
  • Who did you have direct physical contact with, such as hugging or kissing?
  • Have you gotten together with others at a restaurant?
  • Have you gone out for drinks?
  • Did you exercise with others or go to a gym?
  • Do you participate in any sports or other activities?
  • Did you have friends or family over to your house?
  • Have you been to the home of family or friends?
  • Do you have any service providers (home care, speech therapy, etc.) that come to your home regularly?
  • Did you volunteer somewhere?
  • Did you go to a party or other celebration?
  • Have you gone to in-person appointments (for example, the salon, barber, doctor’s or dentist’s office)?
  • Have you ridden in a car with others or taken public transportation?
  • Have you been inside a church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship?

Yes.

Even if close contacts are fully vaccinated at their time of exposure, they should still self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. For household close contacts who are exempt from self-isolation (quarantine), rapid antigen tests are available at test sites and recommended to be used as directed, since household contact has the highest risk of transmission.


You can call, text or email your close contacts, whatever is easiest or more comfortable. The key points to pass on to your close contacts are:

  • That you tested positive for COVID-19
  • When they may have been exposed to the virus (their last known contact with you during your period of communicability)
You can use this letter as a guide to help notify your close contacts.

More information on self-isolation (quarantine), including duration, exemptions, how to monitor for symptoms and protect those you live with, can be found here or in the Self-isolation (quarantine) for Contacts of Cases fact sheet.

Note: In some settings, such as personal care homes, shelters, and health care facilities, public health officials will work with the facility to notify close contacts. If you have a family member in hospital or a personal care home who has recently tested positive for COVID-19, please help to notify their close contacts, if you are aware, outside of these facilities.


If you have questions or concerns, you are advised to call Health Links - Info SantÚ (204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257).


You should notify the people who you attended the gathering with, or whom you have contact information.


Be sure to inform the organizer of the activity. There are letters available to support notification of a team or group. If you have had close contact with the group members, they should be advised they are close contacts and need to self-isolate (quarantine).


By identifying close contacts, you can provide them with the opportunity to self-isolate (quarantine) and reduce the risk of further transmission. This can protect your attendees, their families, the broader community and help preserve critical health care resources.

If you are contacted by an attendee with COVID-19 who attended the event during their period of communicability, you can use this resource to help identify and notify other attendees who may have been exposed to COVID-19. When notifying these close contacts you must not disclose the identity of the person with COVID-19.


Notifying your close contacts gives them the opportunity to self-isolate (quarantine) and can reduce the chances of further transmission. This will protect family, friends, the broader community, as well as critical health care resources.


Public health officials will assist with contact notification in the following settings:

  • Health care facilities
  • Personal care homes/ long term care facilities
  • Shelters
  • Correctional facilities

Note in some settings, such as personal care homes, shelters, and health care facilities, public health officials will work with the facility to notify close contacts.


Public health officials will continue to manage and provide advice in outbreak situations. If you have questions or concerns about an outbreak, you are advised to call Health Links - Info SantÚ (204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257).




Resources: