Anyone with symptoms, even mild ones, can get tested for COVID-19. If you feel sick, complete a daily COVID-19 check-in through the B.C. COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool on the BC COVID-19 mobile/web app. Use the tool to help determine if you need testing for COVID-19. You can complete the assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else. Use the self-assessment tool daily to track your symptoms and see recommendations.
To learn more about COVID-19 testing and find a collection to be tested, go to the Testing page.
How to stop the spread of germs
Self-isolate: Stay home and do not go to work, school or public places and do not use public transit, taxis or ride shares. Do not have visitors to your home. If you live with other people, avoid contact with others at home by staying and sleeping in a separate room and using a separate bathroom if possible. See these guides about isolation:
See below for details about when you can stop isolating.
Cover your coughs and sneezes. When you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Don’t have a tissue? Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. Wash your hands right away after you sneeze, cough or touch used tissues or masks. Throw used tissues into a lined trash can in your room and tie up that trash bag before adding it with other household waste.
Wash your hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It is best to dry your hands with a paper towel and throw it away after use. If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Learn more.
Do not share household items. Do not share dishes, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other shared belongings. After using these items, wash them with soap and water.
Flush the toilet with the lid down. The COVID-19 virus may also be present in poop (stool or feces). Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet.
General cleaning. Water and detergent (e.g., liquid dishwashing soap) or common household cleaning wipes should be used. Apply firm pressure while cleaning. Surfaces should be cleaned at least once a day. Next, use a store bought disinfectant or diluted bleach solution, one part bleach to 50 parts water (20ml of bleach to 1 litre of water), and allow the surface to remain wet for one minute. Clean surfaces that are touched often (e.g., counters, table tops, doorknobs, toilets, sinks, taps, etc.) at least twice a day.
Wear a face mask. When you are sick, wearing a face mask (surgical or procedure mask) helps to stop the spread of germs from you to others. Wear a face mask when you are in the same room with other people and when you get medical care. If your mask gets wet or dirty, change it and wash your hands right away. You and those you live with do not need to buy and wear other types of masks, such as an N-95 respirator mask.
If you have COVID-19 or suspect you have it and are breastfeeding, continue to breastfeed. For more information, refer to the following guidance:
If you need medical care
Pay attention to your health and how you are feeling. Most people can manage their symptoms at home. If you have a fever, stay hydrated and you can use non-prescription medicine like acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, or ibuprofen, such as Advil to treat i.t. You can call 8-1-1 anytime to talk to a nurse at HealthLinkBC and get advice about how you are feeling and what to do next. 8-1-1 has translation services in 130 languages.
Urgent medical care means that there is a change in your health that needs medical help right away. If it becomes harder to breathe, you can’t drink anything or feel 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.
Call ahead before you get medical care. If leaving your home for medical care, call ahead and tell the clinic you are coming in and that you have symptoms of COVID-19. By calling ahead, you help the clinic, hospital, lab, urgent care or doctor’s office prepare for your visit and stop the spread of germs. Remind each health care provider that is taking care of you that you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Below you will find information about when you can stop isolating.
If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, public health will tell you when you can end isolation.
- You will need to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days since your symptoms started , AND
- Your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications (e.g. Tylenol, Advil), AND
- You are feeling better (e.g. improvement in runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue).
It can be a bit tricky to figure out when your fever has disappeared. It’s easier if you keep a note of your temperature and your symptoms every day, so you know when to stop isolating safely.
Coughing may persist for several weeks, so coughing alone does not require you to continue to isolate.
If you’ve tested negative for COVID-19
- After a negative COVID-19 test result, most people can stop isolating if their symptoms are gone.
- People who developed symptoms after being exposed to a confirmed case or after arriving from outside of Canada will need to continue to self-isolate.
- If your symptoms worsen, contact your health care professional or 8-1-1.
Visit the Government of Canada webpage for more details about self-isolating and self-monitoring for incoming travellers.