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If You Have COVID-19

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been told you have COVID-19, learn how to take care of yourself and self-isolate to help prevent the virus from spreading to others.
Last updated: February 9, 2021

Key points

  • Take care of yourself by managing your symptoms at home, learning about treatment and knowing when to get medical care
  • Self-isolate by staying home and avoiding contact with others as much as possible
  • Take steps to prevent spreading the virus to others
  • Call 8-1-1 or a health care provider if you have questions

Managing COVID-19 symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19 can be like other respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold. Visit our Symptoms page for more information. 

Most people can manage their symptoms at home. If you have a fever, you can find out more about managing fevers in children and adults on the HealthLink BC website. You can use non-prescription medicine like acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil) to help with some of the symptoms of COVID-19.

Pay attention to your health and how you are feeling.  If it becomes harder to breathe, if you can't drink anything or if you start feeling much worse, seek urgent medical care at an urgent care clinic or emergency department. If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.

If leaving your home for non-urgent medical care, call ahead and tell the clinic or doctor’s office that you have COVID-19. By calling ahead, you can help stop the spread of COVID-19. 


For the latest information about what treatments are available visit the Treatments page of the BCCDC website.

Most people with COVID-19 recover within two weeks. Some people experience more severe illness from COVID-19 and take longer to recover. The Post COVID-19 Interdisciplinary Clinical Care Network provides resources specific to COVID-19 recovery and symptom management.

PHSA's Post COVID-19 Interdisciplinary Clinical Care Network aims to support the best possible outcomes for people who have experienced serious cases of COVID-19. Learn more about their work and find clinics where you can access care


Self-isolation means staying home and avoiding situations where you could come in contact with others. When you have COVID-19, you need to self-isolate. For more information on how to self-isolate and how long you will need to self-isolate, visit the self-isolation page of the BCCDC website.

Prevent the spread of COVID-19

Because COVID-19 can spread easily, it is important to learn how you can help others around you from getting sick. Some of the steps you can take include:
  • Staying home unless you need to seek medical care
  • Getting food or medicine dropped off by family or friends or have them delivered
  • Washing your hands often
  • Staying away from other people that you live with
  • Always wearing a mask when around others
  • Sleeping in a separate bedroom if possible
  • Using a separate bathroom if possible or cleaning a shared bathroom after each use.

To learn about more ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 see the Prevention page on the BCCDC website. 

Other Resources

If you have COVID-19 and are breastfeeding, continue to breastfeed. For more information, refer to the Breastfeeding and COVID-19 guidance.

SOURCE: If You Have COVID-19 ( )
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