If you have tested positive, learn what to do next.
Updated November 17, 2022
Starting November 17, 2022, people who have COVID-19 are no longer required to self-isolate. However, it is still important for people with symptoms to stay home as much as possible to reduce any potential spread of illness until your symptoms have improved, and you are able to participate in your usual activities.
It is important to avoid close contact with others, especially people at higher risk of severe illness or complications from COVID-19.
If you cannot avoid close contact with others, take other prevention measures such as wearing a mask in indoor spaces and cleaning your hands regularly.
An online screening and virtual assessment service is available for people who tested positive for COVID-19, to see if they would benefit from receiving COVID-19 antiviral treatments.
How to request and get treatment
If you have reviewed the criteria and believe you would benefit from treatment, you can start the request process.
You should start the process as soon as possible. Delays may mean you are not able to receive Paxlovid or Remdesivir, because treatment must be started within five days of developing symptoms.
You aren't guaranteed treatment. Paxlovid and Remdesivir treatments are not suitable for everyone and must be prescribed by a primary care provider. At any step of the process, it may be decided by a physician or pharmacist that treatment isn't right for you.
Option one: Talk to your primary care provider
If you have a primary care provider, contact them as soon as possible to talk about treatment options.
If you can't get an appointment within three days of symptoms starting, you should request treatment via Service BC instead.
Option 2: Request treatment through 811, Service BC or Fraser Health Virtual Care
If you don’t have access to a primary care provider or can’t get an appointment within three days of developing symptoms, you can call 811, Service BC (1-800-663-7867) or Fraser Health Virtual Care (1-888-268-4319). Learn more about the virtual service and eligibility on the Government of BC’s webpage.
Notify your close contacts
Generally, close contacts are people who you have spent longer than 15 minutes with where additional precautions to prevent COVID-19 were not used or were insufficient.
Close contacts who you should notify are generally people who:
Live in the same home as you, or
Had intimate contact with you
When to 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 disease, kidney disease or chronic lung disease.
If your illness feels worse than a common cold:
- Call your health care provider, or
- Call the Fraser Health Virtual Care team at 1-800-314-0999 (10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily)
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 illness, such as trouble breathing or chest pain.
*Note: Any time you go for medical care, call ahead. Let them know you have COVID-19.
When caring for a child who has COVID-19
Consider the child’s age and mental and physical well-being when caring for a child who is sick. Steps such as self-isolation can be stressful for young children. Some caregivers choose to self-isolate along with their children if they have COVID-19. Other options including selecting one person to be the caregiver, to help limit the spread in a household.
Children generally have milder COVID-19 symptoms than adults. However, in rare circumstances, children can become quite ill. Take your child immediately to your nearest emergency department or call 911 if your child:
- is having difficulty breathing
- has blue lips or skin, or appears very pale
- has red and/or swollen lips or tongue
- is coughing excessively, particularly with a fever
- is vomiting excessively, especially if there is blood in the vomit
- has diarrhea and vomiting, is not producing tears and has not urinated for several hours
- has a high fever, appears very sleepy and has not improved with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
- is under three months of age and has a fever of 38 degrees C (100.4 degrees F) or greater
- has pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away
- has new confusion
- has the inability to wake or stay awake
- has severe abdominal pain
- has a spreading rash.
Learn more about children and COVID-19 on the BCCDC's Illness and medical care page. A rare condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) can develop after a child or adolescents has had COVID-19. Learn more about MIS-C.
- Go to the BC Centre for Disease Control website at bccdc.ca.
- Go to our webpages on COVID-19 for added resources and answers to frequently asked questions.
- Go to WorkSafeBC.com for questions about COVID-19 in your workplace.
If you have any questions or concerns, call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1.
To speak with someone in your language, say your language in English three times, then wait until an interpreter comes on the phone.