COVID-19: Information on self-isolation and self-monitoring.

Updated September 13, 2022

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or you have symptoms, you must self-isolate. Visit our testing positive for COVID-19 page to learn what to do next.

If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 close contacts page to learn what to do next.

If you have or had COVID-19 symptoms, even if you have tested negative for COVID-19:

  • Self-isolate until your symptoms improve and you feel well enough to return to regular activities.
  • If you had a fever, stay home until the fever is gone (without taking medicine that reduces fever).

If you are waiting for test results, you need to self-isolate.

What is self-isolation (self-quarantine)?

Self-isolation means separating yourself from others, including staying at home and avoiding situations where you could spread COVID-19 to other people. The goal of self-isolation is to lower the chance of spreading the virus to others, including to your loved ones.

During the period of self-isolation, you should monitor daily for fever, cough or worsening symptoms. Check your temperature daily (if possible). The BC self-assessment tool will help you assess your symptoms.

If you have spoken to a health care provider, follow the advice that you have received regarding self-isolation and your symptoms.

For more information about self-isolation, visit the BCCDC's website.

  • What is self monitoring?

    Self-monitoring means monitoring your health for symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or feeling unwell.

    Whether notified of a COVID-19 exposure or not, everyone should routinely monitor symptoms of COVID-19 and stay home if you feel unwell or develop symptoms.

    • Watch closely for symptoms of COVID-19, even mild ones.
    • Record your temperature if you feel chills or feverish.
    • If you get symptoms, self-isolate right away until you feel better and your symptoms resolve.
    • You can still go about your daily activities, such as going to school or work, as long as you don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • How to monitor your health

    To monitor your health, you should:

    • Use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool.
    • As much as possible, avoid the use of fever reducing medications (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen), because these medications may mask early symptoms of COVID-19. If these must be taken, please let your health care provider know.
    • If you develop symptoms and have risk factors for severe illness — use the BC self-assessment tool to determine if you need to get tested.

  • When to seek medical care

    • If you have worsening symptoms, call 8-1-1, your family doctor, an Urgent and Primary Care Centre or the Fraser Health Virtual Care team at 1-800-314-0999 between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. seven days a week.
    • If you develop symptoms that are not associated with COVID-19, it is important that you still follow-up with medical care.
    • Call 9-1-1 if at any time you are feeling very unwell and are worried this might be an emergency (e.g. severe difficulty breathing or chest pain).
  • If you feel sick with symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild

    Find out if you need to get tested, and stay home until you feel better.

    If you are still unsure whether to seek medical care or get tested:

  • If a staff, child or other person in childcare is sick

    Visit the BCCDC's webpage here to learn what to do when someone at childcare is sick.

  • Travelers to British Columbia and to Canada

    Travelers to Canada are required to follow current Government of Canada testing and quarantine guidelines. 

    Learn about travel to and within Canada.

    Learn more about travel to and within British Columbia.

     

How do I self-isolate?

  • Stay home the whole time you self-isolate.

    • Do not go to work, school, or public areas including grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, gyms or places of worship while you are self-isolating.
    • Avoid all contact with people who are at more risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.
    • Walk or drive yourself to medical appointments or COVID-19 testing sites. If someone else must drive you, for example if you take taxi or rideshare, wear a mask, sit in the back seat farthest away from the driver and keep windows rolled down. If you must take public transit, wear a mask and keep at least 2 meters between yourself and others.
  • Do not have non-essential visitors to your home.

    • Try to arrange for food and essential items to be delivered and dropped off at your door by friends or family, or use a delivery service.
    • Let any home health care providers know that you are self-isolating so that they can take extra precautions to keep themselves healthy.
  • Avoid face-to-face contact with others, including those who live in your home.

    • Stay, sleep and eat in a separate room away from other people in your home.
    • Use a separate bathroom if you have one. If you must share a bathroom, ensure it is thoroughly disinfected before someone else uses it and keep the bathroom well ventilated.
    • If possible, have other people who live in your home stay somewhere else, especially if they have a chronic health condition or are older.
    • Try not share items such as dishes, remote controls or electronic items with others in your home. If you must share, these items need to be disinfected before someone else uses them.
    • High touch, shared surfaces such as door handles, faucets and light switches should be disinfected regularly.
  • If you must be in the same room as someone else, wear a mask and keep a two meter distance between yourself and others

    • Avoid being in the same room as someone who is not infected with COVID-19.
    • Other people should also wear a mask and stay 2 metres away when they are in the same room as you.
    • Make sure that shared rooms have good airflow (for example, open windows for the entire time you are in a shared space).
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes

    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hand.
    • Throw used tissues in a lined wastebasket, and wash your hands. Lining the wastebasket with a plastic bag makes waste disposal easier and safer. Wash your hands after emptying the wastebasket.
  • Practice frequent hand hygiene

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
    • Dry your hands with a paper towel, or with your own towel that no one else shares.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay connected over the phone or virtually