Testing is available for all who need it but not everyone requires a test.
If you develop symptoms, use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help determine if you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to.
Who should be tested for COVID-19?
People with respiratory symptoms who are:
- Hospitalized, or likely to be hospitalized
- Health Care Workers
- Residents of long term care facilities
- Part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak
Who does not need to be tested for COVID-19?
- People without symptoms
- Patients with mild respiratory symptoms who can be managed at home, including returning travellers with an onset of illness within 14 days of return to Canada
The BC Ministry of Health strongly urges anyone who has a fever or respiratory symptoms to self-isolate for 10 days. To protect yourself while out in public, wash your hands frequently and maintain a distance of about 2 metres from others.
If you have had a COVID-19 test, please refer to these handouts for what to do next:
English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Punjabi.
The BCCDC COVID-19 Negative Results line is staffed from 8:30AM to 4:30PM, seven days a week. People who have been tested are asked to wait 72 hours before calling the Negative Results line. Most people who have been tested are calling before the 72 hours and, as a result, the line is experiencing an extremely high call. We ask for your patience and to wait at least 72 hours before calling for your result. If you have spoken with an operator and left your information, you have been placed in a queue and a nurse will follow-up when your result is ready. We have eliminated our voicemail box and increased the number of operators, and encourage people to call us back throughout the day. The line is less busy in the afternoon.
If someone tests positive, public health will contact them. However, while you wait for your test result, you should follow the advice of your doctor or testing provider to self-isolate.
Please note: Test results are not available in-person at the BCCDC.
If you test negative for Covid-19, BCCDC recommends that you continue to isolate in the following instances:
- Returning travelers to BC from outside Canada: continue to isolate for 14 days from the day you landed back in Canada.
- Those who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for covid-19: must continue to self-isolate for 14 days from the last time you were in contact with the person who tested positive.
- Symptomatic: continue to self-isolate for 10 days from when you first started experiencing systems or until your symptoms resolve (if more than 10 days).
Health care providers should check with their employer about isolation periods following a negative test. Each workplace may have different return to work policies.