I am fully vaccinated and I have been directed by Public Health to isolate, why would they direct me to self-isolate?

Here are some scenarios where Public Health may direct you to self-isolate, even if you are fully vaccinated:

  • The case you were exposed to tested positive for a variant of concern and there is heightened concern about the transmission of COVID-19.
  • The case you were exposed to was in a setting with an uncontrolled outbreak.
  • You have immunocompromising conditions (as per provincial guidance).
  • The case you were exposed to is infected with a variant of significant vaccine escape as identified by the Ministry of Health or Public Health Ontario.
  • If there is a significantly greater proportion of breakthrough cases than would be expected amongst high-risk close contacts.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is safe and effective, but no vaccine is 100% protective. In some situations, such as the examples above, the virus you were exposed to may be more dangerous or less sensitive to the vaccine. In these circumstances, even people who are fully vaccinated need another layer of protection against a potentially stronger strain of the virus—self-isolation being the additional layer.

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This item was last modified on November 3, 2021

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