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COVID-19, work and school: 10 answers to your questions –

The students are back in class, while some employees have returned to work. This return to a more normal life against the backdrop of a pandemic brings up several questions to the population. The Montérégie Public Health Department is responding to Gravité Média’s request.

1 – I have symptoms and I want to go for a test. Do I have to go into segregation in the meantime?

Yes, stay home. Do not go to school, work, daycare or any public place. Don’t go out for a walk. Do not use public transport. If you don’t have help with your groceries or medication, you can use home delivery services and avoid contact within 2m of the delivery person. Do not welcome visitors to the house.

If you live with other people who have no symptoms and who have never had COVID-19, stay alone in a room of the house as often as possible and avoid contact with them. If this is not possible, keep a distance of at least 2 m. Otherwise, cover your nose and mouth. If possible, eat and sleep alone in a room in the house and use a bathroom reserved for you. Otherwise, disinfect it after each use. Ventilate the house and your bedroom often by opening a window.

You can go outside on your balcony or in your private yard, making sure you are 2m away from all other people.

2 – And until when?

If you have not had a test and you have the following symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, or sudden loss of smell, you can stop isolation as early as 10 days from the start. symptoms provided that you have been without a fever for 48 hours and the symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours, excluding coughing and loss of smell which may last longer.

Do you have only one symptom other than those listed above? You can end the isolation. Do you have two or more symptoms other than those named above? Consult COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool or contact the line 1 877 644-4545.

3 – I learn that a person I have known is positive for COVID-19, should I go for a test?

The investigation carried out on the case by the Public Health Department makes it possible to identify the contacts whose risk of acquiring the infection is considered significant. These people will be contacted by the Public Health Department and a test will be recommended to them.

People who have been around a person with the disease who have not been contacted by public health are considered to be at low risk of developing the infection. They must monitor their symptoms and apply the preventive measures recommended for everyone (wearing a face cover, 2 m distance, hand hygiene, etc.). If symptoms develop, the online self-assessment tool will let them know if a test is recommended.

4 – If I was wearing a face cover and I stayed at least 2 m from a positive person, should I be concerned?

No. The risk to people keeping a distance of at least 2 meters from a case is considered low.

5 – Is it true that we must have prolonged contact with a positive person, so that public health considers us at risk of contamination?

Yes. The risk is considered significant if a person is in contact within 2 m for 15 minutes or more with an affected person. For shorter contacts or at a greater distance, the risk of acquiring infection is considered low.

6 – If an employee tests positive at my job, must the company close its doors for 14 days?

No. Only significant contacts of the affected person are withdrawn from work. It is not recommended that the business close. However, it could happen that the number of withdrawn contacts forces the company to close for lack of personnel during their isolation.

7 – If there is a case in my son’s class, will the whole class be in quarantine? And why not school?

With some exceptions, all students in the class will be placed in isolation, as no distancing is required within a class. However, if the measures of distance between the classes are respected, the students of the other classes will not have had contact with the case and will not have to be isolated.

8 – Does Public Health make a difference between a positive case of a student and a teacher?

The Committee on Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) recommends wearing a medical-type mask for staff within 2 m of a student or other employee. If this type of mask was worn during interaction with a case, the risk of exposure is not considered significant. The situation is different for the pupils, as they do not wear a mask in the classroom.

9 – I am going to be tested for COVID-19, should I notify my employer or my co-workers?

No, this is at your discretion. However, if you have symptoms for which the online self-assessment tool recommend not to report to work, you should stay at home while waiting for the test result.

10 – Can I be refused to take a test? For what reasons)?

Anyone who asks for a test, for whatever reason, can get tested.