You’ve tested positive for COVID-19. Learn what to do next.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate right away. Do not go to work, school, or public places.
This important even if you are vaccinated or your symptoms are mild.
Stay and sleep in a separate room and use a separate bathroom if possible, even if they are fully immunized.
- Identify your contacts
To help us protect your loved ones and community, consider who you were with, and where you’ve been in the two days before you started feeling ill. If you have not had any symptoms and tested positive, consider who you were with, and where you’ve been in the two days before your positive test.
Public Health will be in touch
Public Health will reach out to you by phone in the coming days to discuss your symptoms and contacts, and provide you with further direction.
Please notify your household contacts that you have tested positive for COVID-19 and ask them to self-isolate if they are not fully immunized (the person received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine seven or more days before coming into close contact with you). If other members of your household have tested positive for COVID-19 they should continue to isolate until the date provided to them by Public Health.
We encourage you to notify your close contacts who do not live with you, and provide them with a link to our COVID-19 Contact Information page.
- Manage your symptoms
Many COVID-19 symptoms can be safely managed with home treatment such as drinking plenty of fluids, rest and using a humidifier or hot shower to ease a cough or sore throat.
You can call 8-1-1 anytime to talk to a nurse at HealthLinkBC. This service is available in 130 languages.
If your symptoms worsen, or if you do not improve after 5 or 6 days, call 8-1-1, your family doctor or Urgent and Primary Care Centre, so they can determine if you need to be assessed again.
If you have chest pain or severe difficulty breathing, or are worried this might be an emergecny, please call 9-1-1 right away.
- Getting back to normal - ending your isolation
If you are managing your illness at home and are not immunocompromised (this will be discussed when you receive a call from public health) you can end isolation once the following criteria is met:
- At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms started, or from test date if you did not have symptoms.
- Fever has resolved for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND
- Symptoms (respiratory, gastrointestinal, and systemic) have improved
Most people with COVID-19 recover within two weeks. But, some people with more severe symptoms can take twelve weeks or more to feel better. Connect with your health care provider, 8-1-1 or Urgent and Primary Care Centre to be assessed.
- Should I get vaccinated after having COVID-19?
If you have not received either your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, you should still get vaccinated after you have recovered and ended your self-isolation.
Vaccines boost your immunity and have shown to be highly effective in preventing serious illness and death, even after you have had a COVID-19 infection.
Drop in or make an appointment for your first or second dose (28 days or more after getting our first dose) at an immunization clinic near you.