This upcoming weekend many people will gather with friends and family, hunt for chocolate bunnies, eat lots of food and enjoy the Easter long weekend.

While people are enjoying a much-needed long weekend Dr. Kit Young Hoon, Medical Officer of Health for the Northwestern Health Unit offered some COVID safety advice for Easter.

“When developing plans for the Easter long weekend, you may want to continue using some of the public health prevention measures such as masking, and physical distancing when you gather with others,” Young Hoon said.

She also recommends performing a personal risk assessment before gathering for the Easter weekend.

“That risk assessment considers what the setting is? Is it indoors versus outdoors? How closely are you coming to other people? You also want to think about yourself. What type of risk level is for you with respect to being hospitalized or severe illness.”

Young Hoon said factors that go into determining your own risk level are age, previous illnesses, and the number of vaccinations you have received.

Following the weekend filled with ham and chocolate you start to feel unwell and show COVID symptoms she says to self-isolate and follow guidelines for your situation.

“Depending on the type of symptoms you get you may need to self isolate and get tested. A lot of things to consider if you become unwell. Definitely, you’re unwell with symptoms you would want to avoid socializing and interacting with others.”

The province recommends if you have symptoms or have tested positive for the virus to self isolate for five days if fully vaccinated or 10 days if not fully vaccinated.

Following the isolation timeline, they say to wear a mask in all public settings.

Household members do not have to self-isolate but instead self-monitor for 10 days if exposed to COVID-19, test positive, and have symptoms within their house if they are over the age of 18 and have gotten their booster dose or under the age of 18 and fully vaccinated.

Those exposed can still attend school and work but are not recommended to attend high-risk settings. 

During the 10 days, self-monitor period masks are still recommended.

Those non-household members who have been in close contact with COVID-19 are not required to self-isolate regardless of vaccine status but self-monitor for 10 days. Mask-wearing is still recommended, and avoidance of high-risk settings is advised. 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 self-isolation is required and a PCR or rapid antigen test is needed.