Medical laboratory environment with Coronavirus COVID 19 test tube held by blue protective glove and centrifuge with other test tubes in Background

This Version Posted: December 22, 2020

Testing for COVID-19 is a critical step in stopping the spread of illness.  

Where and When to Get Tested 
If You Test Positive for COVID-19 
  • You MUST continue to isolate if you test positive for the virus. Public health will call you as soon as possible about your test results and ask you questions about places you have visited and people who you were in close contact. Anyone in close contact with you may be at risk from COVID-19 themselves, so must be called. Your help in answering these questions is essential to protect the health of others in the community.   
  • PLEASE NOTE: Public Health Ontario (PHO) is supporting the Health Unit’s efforts to follow up with all COVID-19 contacts in Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. If a PHO contact tracer calls you, the number will appear as ‘Unknown.’ This is NOT a scam. If you have questions, call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020
  • You will receive regular phone calls from public health staff to see how you are doing and to monitor any symptoms you have. Public health staff will also ensure you are staying in self-isolation at home and can discuss any supports you need and respond to your questions. 
  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and do NOT stay at home in self-isolation, you could be served with a Class Order under Section 22 (5.01.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This order states you must stay home in self-isolation or face daily fines or imprisonment for not doing so. 
  • There are different periods for self-isolating, depending on your situation and the nature of your COVID-19 symptoms. To be safe, do not stop self-isolating until you receive the all-clear from the Health Unit.  
  • Visit the Ontario government website to learn more about COVID-19 testing. 
Close Contacts 
  • Public health staff (either Health Unit or Public Health Ontario staff) will follow up with anyone who has been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. This is called contact tracing.  
  • Individuals who are considered close contacts to someone who has COVID-19 can include: 
    • Family members/people living in the same household 
    • Anyone who had direct contact with a positive COVID-19 case 
  • Public health will follow up with these close contacts and give instructions on what they need to do (like quarantining) to slow the spread of COVID-19. Public health will also do regular phone calls with close contacts to check in on them and ensure they follow public health directions. 
  • Here’s what to do if you have been in contact with someone (friend, relative, co-worker etc.) who was in contact with a COVID-19 case, but you yourself did not have a direct encounter with the positive case.