Find out how and when to get a COVID-19 test.

Updated June 2, 2022

Learn if you qualify for testing and how to book a COVID-19 test.

  • Am I eligible for a COVID-19 test?

    Testing is available to those that meet the eligibility criteria.

    Testing is recommended for people who have symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection and meet one of the following criteria:

    1. People for whom testing is clinically indicated (people who are pregnant, hospitalized or moderately to severely immunocompromised).
    2. People with conditions that put them at high risk.
    3. People 70 years of age or older who are fully vaccinated, with three or more chronic conditions that increase the risk of severe illness or hospitalization.
    4. People 50 years of age and older who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and who have three or more chronic conditions that increase the risk of severe illness or hospitalization; or people 50-69 years of age who have not yet received their booster dose and have three or more chronic conditions that increase the risk of severe illness or hospitalization; or people age 70 years and older who have not yet received their booster dose and have one or more chronic conditions that increase the risk of severe illness or hospitalization.
    5. Individuals who self-identify as Indigenous.
    6. Individuals who live or work in high-risk settings.

    Learn more about when to get a COVID-19 test on the BCCDC's webpage.

    Learn what to do if you are not eligible to book a COVID-19 test.

    Eligible for a COVID-19 Test?

    Book a COVID-19 test appointment now.

    Where possible, please use the online booking system. A central intake number is available at 604-587-3936, seven days a week, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm to assist people in completing their COVID-19 test booking form or to set up an appointment as well.

    If you do not see any appointments on our online booking form, please check back later. New appointment times are added to our online booking form daily.

    Please avoid going to the emergency department for COVID-19 testing. If you are concerned that you are having a medical emergency, such as severe shortness of breath or chest pain, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency department. 

    You do not need a doctor's referral in order to receive a test.



  • What do I need to know about testing for children?

    Children qualify for testing if they have symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection and fall into one of the categories noted above, under "Am I Eligible for a COVID-19 test?"

    Children five years of age and older may receive a saline gargle test, nasal pharyngeal swab or a rapid test kit. Children younger than the age of five will not receive a saline (salt water) gargle test.

    Visit COVID-19 Testing for Children & Youth to learn more about how children are tested and what you can do to prepare for a test.


    How to use the swish gargle COVID-19 test

    Download printable PDF

  • What do I do if I have mild symptoms and testing is not recommended?

    Stay home until you feel well enough to return to your regular activities. Avoid non-essential high-risk settings such as long-term care facilities and individuals at higher risk for severe illness for 10 days after the start of your symptoms. Mild symptoms are symptoms that can be managed at home. Children have similar but milder symptoms to adults. Learn about how to manage your symptoms.

    If you have any questions, or the symptoms don’t go away contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1. You should continue to seek care for other medical conditions as needed, even if it’s not related to COVID-19.

    If you are unsure whether to seek medical care or get tested, contact your family physician, health care provider, 8-1-1, chat or call 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.

  • What if I don't have any symptoms?

    Testing is not recommended in asymptomatic individuals outside of public health investigations and other specific circumstances.

    We don’t offer COVID-19 testing for the purposes of travelling, school or employment. There are some private pay clinics that offer testing for a fee to people who require asymptomatic testing for reasons that fall outside of B.C. public health recommendations, as outlined in the testing guidelines, such as for travel or employment. For more information, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

  • What should I expect when I visit a COVID-19 testing and immunization centre? 

    Before you leave:

    • Ensure you have a face mask and your care card number.
    • To ensure test accuracy children and adults should not have anything to eat or drink, including gum or water, or have brushed teeth, or have smoked, including cigarettes and vapes, within one hour of coming to the testing center.

    When you arrive at a testing site:

    • If you are visiting a walk-up site, staff will ask you to wear a mask and to physically distance yourself from others who are waiting in line.
    • If you are visiting a drive-up/drive-through site, park in a designated spot and remain in your vehicle at all times. You will need to roll down your window for registration and testing.

    Screening, registration and testing

    • A staff member will help you complete the registration process. They may ask you to complete a paper registration while you are waiting for your test. You will need to provide your care card and a phone number staff can reach you at if you test positive for COVID-19.
    • You will be assessed upon arrival at the COVID-19 testing centre. While most people will receive rapid antigen tests, people who are at higher risk of illness, and those who live and work in high-risk settings, such as health care workers, will receive PCR tests. Further consultation with a Medical Health Officer may also be done for individual cases and circumstances. Learn more about:
  • What do I need to know about rapid tests?

    As of February 25, some community pharmacies are providing rapid antigen testing kits for free. See the BCCDC’s webpage to learn about eligibility and rapid antigen testing information. To find a pharmacy location offering rapid tests, visit the BC Pharmacy Association's webpage.

  • How do I get my test results?

    Remember to self-isolate while you wait for your results. Learn more about what to do after a COVID-19 test.

    You can access your test results in three ways: by text, online or by phone. Learn more about each option on the BCCDC's webpage here.

    If you have a Personal Health Number (PHN), you can use the text message, online services or phone services to access your COVID-19 result.

    If you do not have a PHN, you can access your results by phone.

    Rapid antigen test results (ex. rapid test, at-home kit) will NOT be available at Health Gateway.

    Private PCR COVID-19 test results (tests that are paid for privately for work/travel) are available from the test provider directly. Follow their instructions to access a copy of your test results.

    See the BCCDC's webpage here to learn how to access your test results by test, online, or by phone.

    For support with understanding your test results, visit the BCCDC's webpage.

  • What do I do if I have tested positive?

    If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, learn what to do next. For support with understanding your test results, visit the BCCDC's webpage.

  • What do I do if I have tested negative?

    A negative test result means that you likely did not have COVID-19 on the day you had the test. You may stop self-isolating once you feel well enough to return to regular activities unless:

    • You have been instructed to self-isolate by public health.
    • You travelled outside of Canada. To find out if you need to self-isolate after travelling, visit the Government of Canada’s website. Follow the instructions provided by the Government of Canada on how to self-isolate and quarantine.

    For support with understanding your test results, visit the BCCDC's webpage.

  • Where can I find testing locations?

    Find your local testing centre by following these links. You can also call 8-1-1 to find the nearest centre.

    Travelling to a testing site 

    If you do not have access to a personal vehicle or are too sick to drive, consider having a family member or friend drive you to the testing site. All occupants in the vehicle should wear a mask and keep the car windows open for ventilation when you can. 

If you are experiencing any of the following, please call 9-1-1 or go directly to your nearest emergency department.

  • Severe difficulty breathing (e.g. struggling to breathe or speaking in single words)
  • Severe chest pain
  • Having a very hard time waking up
  • Feeling confused
  • Losing consciousness

Participate in COVID-19 Research

There are a number of COVID-19 research projects on understanding vaccine effectiveness and safety, treatment of COVID-19, impact on mental health, and more. Find out what research opportunities are available and how to get involved on REACH BC. Everyone can help fight COVID-19.