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Changes to managing COVID-19 at home and self-isolation

BC Centre of Disease Control has issued the following statement with respect to new guidance on how to manage COVID-19 illness at home and self-isolation recommendations.
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We apologize for the web posting and changes that occurred yesterday. We understand the significant interest in these testing and isolation guidelines, which is why we updated the website immediately with clarifications made yesterday. We recognize this approach led to confusion.

We also recognize people in British Columbia are frustrated with the ongoing pandemic, and they want and need clear communication on changes that impact their lives. We will strive to ensure there is a better change management process for future changes.

These changes are a step toward enabling British Columbians to self-manage their illness and will help guide their actions to limit the spread of illness in our communities. Public health guidance always strives to strike a balance between preventing infection and limiting the harms caused by preventing people from participation in societal activities like working, going to school and socializing.

The arrival of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant has changed our situation so our guidance needs to adapt. The guidance and how we manage the situation is changing rapidly and we always intend to provide the public with the most up-to-date information as quickly as possible.

We expect further changes to the guidance in the weeks to come and commit to keeping British Columbians informed.

Getting vaccinated with all recommended doses remains the most effective measure to prevent severe illness. We cannot eliminate all risk, but we can use our layers of protection to keep our workplaces, schools, health care and other activities running.

Summary of key changes to managing illness and self-isolation

  • If you have mild symptoms and do not need a COVID-19 test, stay home until you feel well enough to return to your regular activities.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 and you are under 18 or a fully vaccinated adult:
    • self-isolate at home for five days AND until your symptoms improve and you no longer have a fever. 
    • avoid non-essential visits to high-risk settings for additional five days. 
  • If you test positive for COVID-19  and you are 18 years of age or older and not fully vaccinated:
    • self-isolate at home for 10 days AND until your symptoms improve and you no longer have a fever. 
  • Close contacts do not need to self-isolate, regardless of vaccination status, but should self-monitor.
  • Whether notified of a COVID-19 exposure or not, everyone should routinely monitor symptoms of COVID-19 and stay home if they feel unwell.

Key resources

The BC Centre for Disease Control, a part of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides public health leadership through surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation services. The Centre provides diagnostic and treatment services for people with diseases of public health importance, and analytical and policy support to all levels of government and health authorities. The BCCDC also provides health promotion and prevention services to reduce the burden of chronic disease, preventable injury and environmental health risks. For more, visit  or follow us on Twitter @CDCofBC.

The Provincial Health Services Authority plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty health care services across BC, working with the five regional health authorities, First Nations Health Authority and the Ministry of Health to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit or follow us @PHSAofBC.


Media contact

Heather Amos
BCCDC Communications
or PHSA media line: 778.867.7472




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