Information for anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
The symptoms most commonly found with COVID-19 infection include:
Less common symptoms of COVID-19 infection include stuffy nose, conjunctivitis (pink eye), dizziness, confusion, abdominal pain and skin rashes or discoloration of fingers and toes.
For key symptoms of illness in children, see the BCCDC guidance for K-12 school settings.
If an individual has no symptoms, they do not require a test. Testing is recommended for anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones. If you do not have symptoms, but have questions about COVID-19 visit the BCCDC website.
Complete a self-assessment
Anyone who is concerned that they may have been exposed to, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should first use the online self-assessment tool: bc.thrive.health.
The self-assessment tool is also available as part of the COVID-19 BC Support App, which provides regular updates, trusted resources and alerts to your mobile device.
Book a test appointment
The Island Health COVID-19 Testing Call Centre is available for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Call Centre Hours of Operation: Monday - Sunday, 8:30 a.m. - 8:00.p.m.
You will be asked to leave a callback number rather than wait on-hold. Calls will be processed in priority order during business hours but you may receive a call back after Call Centre hours, as we work to keep up with demand. Please ensure you provide a phone number that you can be reached at after our hours of operation. You will need your personal health number (or your child's) available when Call Centre staff return your call.
1-844-901-8442 (8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
Locations of test collection sites
Our Call Centre team will confirm your need for a test and book a test at a collection site near you.
|Community||Location||Hours of operation|
|Bamfield||Bamfield Health Centre
353 Bamfield Road
|Tuesday and Thursday mornings as needed|
1358 Marwalk Street, Campbell River
|9:00am - 3:50pm - Mon-Sun|
|Cormorant Island||Cormorant Island Health Centre
49 School Road
|10:00am - 11:30am - Tuesday and Thursdays|
ICBC Claim Centre 505 Crown Isle Blvd.
9:00am - 4:00pm - Mon - Sun
ICBC Claim Centre 5151 Polkey Rd.
8:40am - 3:50pm - Mon - Sun
|Ditidaht First Nations Community||Ditidaht Health Centre||11:00am - 2:00pm - Mon - Fri|
|Gold River||Gold River Health Centre
601 Trumpeter Drive
|9:00am - 4:30pm - Mon - Sun|
|Hupacasath Community||Hupcasath House of Gathering||11:00am - 2:00pm - Mon - Fri|
|Huu ay aht First Nations Community||Soaring Eagle Building||11:00am - 2pm - Mon - Fri|
|Nanaimo||VIU Campus, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo
Exit 5A off Fifth Street - next to the Navy League Bldgs
|9:00am - 4:00pm Mon -Sun|
|Oceanside||Qualicum Beach Civic Center
747 Jones St, Qualicum Beach
|10:00am - 3:45pm Mon - Sun|
|Pacific West Coast||Tofino General Hospital
261 Neill Street
|9:00am - 2:00pm - Mon - Sun|
|Port Alice||Port Alice Health Centre
1090 Marine Drive
|Port Hardy||Port Hardy Hospital
9120 Granville Street
|8:30am - 4:30pm - Mon - Sun|
|Port McNeill||Port McNeill Hospital
750 Kingcome Place
|1 - 2:40pm - Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri|
|Saanichton/Sidney||Peninsula Health Unit
2170 Mt. Newton X Rd.
|8:00am - 4:00pm - Mon – Sun|
|Saltspring Island||Lady Minto Hospital
135 Crofton Rd.
|9:00am - 4:00pm - Mon- Sun|
|Sointula||Sointula Health Centre
25 2nd Street
|As needed Tuesday and Thursday|
|Tseshaht First Nations Community||Maht Mahs Gym||11:00am - 2:00pm - Mon - Fri|
|Victoria – 1||ICBC Claim Centre (please follow signage)
425 Dunedin Street
|9:00am - 4:00pm - Mon- Sun|
|Victoria – 2||University of Victoria
Lot 10 – off Gordon Head Road via West Campus Way
|9:00am - 4:00pm - Mon- Sun|
|Port Alberni||Glenwood Sports Centre Lot
4480 Vimy Street, Port Alberni
|9:45am - 2:40pm - Mon - Sun|
|Juan de Fuca Senior Citizens Association
1767 Island Hwy
|8:20am - 3:30pm - Mon- Sun|
Appointments for COVID-19 testing must be pre-booked through our Call Centre. We are not providing tests for walk-up or drive-in clients without an appointment.
To cancel your appointment, call the Testing Call Centre (1-844-901-8442) during business hours and press option ‘4’ when prompted.
Mouth Rinse / Gargle Testing
Individuals (ages 4+) with COVID-19 symptoms can be tested using a gargle test or a nasopharyngeal swab. Both are good options and will tell you if you have COVID-19. The gargle test method involves swishing and gargling sterile salt water and spitting it into a collection tube. Before calling to book an appointment, please use the self-assessment tool at bc.thrive.health to determine if you or your child needs a COVID-19 test. If a test is recommended, call 1-844-901-8442 to book an appointment (daily 8:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.).
What to expect and how to prepare
Individuals wanting the option of having a saline gargle test need to review the instructions before coming in for testing, as there is some preparation required.
- Adults and Youth (13-18 years of age): See the gargle test instructions for adults and youth.
- Children: Watch a video about what to expect during the test and see gargle test instructions for child and caregiver.
- For younger children, practice the swish, gargle and spit technique using water at home at least two hours before going to the collection centre.
- One hour prior to the gargle test, do not eat, drink (including water), chew gum, vape or smoke.
- Everyone, including children, must wear a mask when attending the test collection site.
- Go directly home after the test; stay home from school or work, and do not see visitors. Family members should follow the guidance for caregivers.
Waiting for test results for families and patients
While waiting for test results, the person with symptoms needs to stay home and isolate from other household members (other than a direct caregiver if required).
Household members who do not have symptoms, and/or are not directly caring for a sick child, do not need to stay home and can continue their normal activities, while maintaining a physical distance of 2-metres from others, wearing a mask where appropriate and washing hands frequently.
If any close contacts develop symptoms, please stay home and call 8-1-1 or visit bc.thrive.health for information.
Start making a list of people you were in close contact with, as of two (2) days (48 hrs.) before you began experiencing symptoms. Include their names and contact information.
Getting your results
Have your personal health number handy for any of these options:
- Access test results, 24-48 hours after testing, through MyHealth, a secure website that gives access to your personal health information. To log in, create an account, or request access to someone else’s MyHealth account visit www.islandhealth.ca/myhealth.
- Sign up for results by text message.
- Call BC’s COVID-19 Negative Results Line 24-48 hours after testing at 1-833-707-2792, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., 7-days a week.
- Adolescents and parents of children can call Island Health’s Lab Call Centre at 1-866-370-8355, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., closed weekends and statutory holidays.
What if I test negative for COVID-19?
Last update: January 11, 2021 at 10:50 a.m.