What to do if my child has COVID-19 symptoms

Follow your local Public Health guidance.

This is the latest guidance from Toronto Public Health:

If your child has one or more (new or worsening) symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay at home, self-isolate, and get tested. Call your child’s school to let them know that your child has COVID-19 symptoms.

Household members should self-monitor for symptoms

Household members should monitor for symptoms for 14 days. They can go to school or work if they do not have symptoms and the child with symptoms has not tested positive for COVID-19. This includes while you are waiting for the test results. If the child has symptoms and was a close contact of someone who had COVID-19 then household members should stay home and self-isolate.

Get tested

Contact your child’s health care provider if you have questions about testing. Find an Assessment Centre near you to get tested. Children can often get a swab of the throat and each nostril so it is more comfortable than a deep nasal swab. Saliva tests are also available.

When going to an assessment centre, don’t use public transit. Drive your child if you can, ask for a ride, or use a taxi or ride share. Wear a mask, sit in the back seat, and keep the windows open.

Check your child’s test results

You can check your test results at by clicking on “check your lab results.” Results can take a few days.

If your child tests negative for COVID-19:

  • Your child may return to school if it has been 24 hours since their symptoms started improving.
  • Young children may have ongoing mild symptoms, such as a runny nose. If it is not new or worse, they may go back to school if they don’t have other symptoms.

If your child tests positive for COVID-19:

  • Your child must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days from the day the symptoms started.
  • Household members and close contacts must also self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Let your school know that your child tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Toronto Public Health will contact you to do an investigation and with further instructions.

Not tested

If your child has COVID-19 symptoms and did not have a COVID-19 test, they must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days from the day the symptoms started. Even if their symptoms get better sooner, they will need to stay home for 14 days. Household members will continue to self-monitor for 14 days. Household members can continue to attend school or work as long as they do not have any symptoms.

Sick for other reasons

Sometimes children are sick for other reasons. If your health care provider has ruled out COVID-19, your child may return to school once it has been 24 hours since their symptoms started improving. Note that TPH does not recommend requiring a medical note to confirm this.

Have questions?

Please contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600.