You have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19

You have been identified as a close contact to a person with COVID-19. Public health will call you to check your COVID-19 vaccine history and contact with the virus. They will let you know whether you need to self-monitor or continue to self-isolate.

COVID-19 can spread before a person has any signs of illness. You must self-isolate immediately while you wait for further information from public health. 

How do I self-isolate

Your self-isolation starts from the day you were last in close contact with the person with COVID-19.

Self-isolation means:

  • Monitoring for signs of COVID-19.
  • Staying at home
  • Staying away from others in the home
  • Using a separate bathroom if possible
  • Getting basics like groceries and medications delivered or brought to you by someone not in self-isolation

You can exercise outside as long as you can stay at least two metres away from others.

  • Do not go to work, school, or other public areas (such as grocery stores, shopping malls, fitness centres, or places of worship)
  • Do not have visitors
  • Do not share personal items with others
  • Do not use public transport

Learn more about self-isolation.

Do I need to get tested for COVID-19?

If you get sick with signs of a cold, the flu, or COVID-like illness (even mild ones):

  • Get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible

If you are self-isolating and have no signs of illness:

  • We recommend you get tested seven days or more after you were last in contact with the person infected with COVID-19.
  • When you book your appointment online, select the option “I have been sent for testing by Public Health.”

No matter whether you have signs of illness or not, if you have been told to self-isolate and you test negative for COVID-19, you must do both of these things:

  • You must self-isolate for the full 10 days from when last in contact with COVID-19.
  • You must monitor for signs of COVID-19 for 14 days from when last in contact with COVID-19.

Where to get tested?

When should I get medical care?

People with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of more severe illness due to COVID-19. This can include older people and people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart, renal or chronic lung disease.

  • If your symptoms feel worse than a common cold:
  • Call 8-1-1 any time day or night if you have any questions or concerns about your health
  • Call 9-1-1 if you have more severe symptoms, such as trouble breathing or chest pain
  • If you go for medical care, call ahead. Let them know you are self-isolating.

What if I have already had one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccine is very good at keeping people from getting very sick with COVID-19. 

If you are a close contact of a person infected with COVID-19, Public Health will review your vaccine history and contact with the virus. This review determines whether you must self-isolate or self-monitor.

What if Public Health tells me to “self-isolate”? 

You are to self-isolate for 10 days. The 10 days start from when you were last in close contact with the person with COVID-19. You can end your self-isolation if you do not get any signs of a cold, the flu, or COVID-19 illness for 10 days. 

If you cannot self-isolate from a person with COVID-19, such as you live in the same home, you must continue to self-isolate until 10 days after the person with COVID-19 has finished their own self-isolation period. 

Once your self-isolation is complete, you must continue to monitor for signs of COVID-19 for another 4 days. 

What if public health tells me to “self-monitor”?

Use the COVID-19 Assessment tool every day to check for any symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from when you were last in close contact with the person with COVID-19.

If you feel well, you may continue to go to work, school and all activities. Avoid being around people who would be at a higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness, such as the elderly and people with weak immune systems due to medication use or illnesses.

If you become ill, isolate away from others and book an appointment to get a COVID-19 test. Continue to isolate until your results are back and symptoms go away.

Where can I learn more?

To learn more about COVID-19:

If you have any questions or concerns, please call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1. To speak with someone in your language, call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1.

When you call, say your language in English 3 times, then wait until an interpreter comes on the phone. 

Download our contact notice sheet below: