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Understanding Test Results

Find out what your COVID-19 test results mean. 

Last updated: July 8, 2021


Your test came back as “positive”

A positive test result means that your body has detectable levels of the COVID-19 virus. If your test results come back as COVID-19 positive, you need to self-isolate. The people you live with also need to self-isolate if they are not fully vaccinated. Follow the instructions found on our Self isolation page

If you are unsure about your test results or self-isolation instructions, please contact your health care provider or contact HealthLink BC by calling 8-1-1, or for Video Relay Service, visit Video Relay Services and have them call HealthLink BC at 604-215-5101.

Your test came back as “negative”

A negative test result means that you did not have COVID-19 on the day you had the test. You may stop self-isolating once you feel better unless:

  • You are a contact or have been exposed to someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19 and have been asked to self-isolate by Public Health.  You should continue to self-isolate for 14 days from your last contact with a person who had COVID-19.
  • You have arrived in B.C. from outside of Canada. You must continue to isolate for 14 days from the day you landed back in Canada. There are some exemptions for fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to enter Canada and who meet specific conditions. Learn more about vaccinated travellers entering Canada.
If your symptoms get worse, contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1. 


Special instructions

Health care workers should notify their employer of a positive result.

If you are a First Nations citizen and/or family member, please phone 1-855-344-3800 to connect with the First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week, for additional information and support. Please also visit the First Nations Health Authority website for further information and resources about COVID-19 testing and what to do if you have COVID-19.

If you are unable to isolate safely or do not have access to a place where you can self-isolate from others, contact Services BC at  1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).

‎If you live in the Fraser Health region, learn what to do next if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19

SOURCE: Understanding Test Results ( )
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