I Have COVID-19

If You Tested Positive for COVID-19 • Self-Isolate • Manage Symptoms • Living with Post–COVID-19 • Let Your Close Contacts Know •  Approved COVID-19 Treatments in BC

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If You Tested Positive for COVID-19

A positive result from a COVID-19 test means that COVID-19 was detected. You very likely have COVID-19 and could pass it on to others.

If you tested positive for COVID-19, you need to:

  • self-isolate (for at least five days from the first day you had symptoms if you are fully vaccinated or under 18 years old OR for at least 10 days if you are not fully vaccinated and are over 18 years old)
  • manage symptoms
  • notify close contacts
What to do if you te​st pos​​itive for COVID-19 (BCCDC fact sheet)


Self-isolation means keeping away from others to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

How to Self-Is​​​olate

If you live with others, stay in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom, or clean and sanitize the bathroom before and after use.

Wear a well-fitting mask and keep two metres between yourself and others in your home when you do have to be in shared spaces.

Do not go to the store or any other location while isolating.

Make sure you have sufficient soap and water, tissues and hand sanitizer.

The FNHA Health Benefits Isolation Support team can help you with accommodation, travel and meals if you need to self-isolate. To see if you are eligible or to find out more, call 1-888-305-1505. For more information see COVID-19 Guide to Medical Tran​sportation Benefits

Ending Self-Iso​​lation

If you are managing your illness at home you can end isolation when all three of the following conditions are met:

  • if you are fully vaccinated or under age 18: you have isolated for at least five days after your symptoms started, or from the test date if you did not have symptoms. Fully vaccinated means you received both doses of a two-dose series (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine) or have received a one-dose series (e.g., Janssen/Johnson and Johnson) more than 14 days ago

    You should avoid non-essential visits to higher risk settings, such as long term care facilities and gatherings, for another 5 days after ending isolation. This guidance is intended to prevent non-essential visits (e.g. social visits), and does not apply to essential workers. Employees should follow their workplace guidance.​

  • if you are not fully vaccinated: you have isolated for at least 10 days after your symptoms started, or from the test date if you did not have symptoms (five days if you are under age 18)


  • your fever has ended for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen


  • your symptoms have improved

When you end isolation, you are not considered contagious. However, it can take longer to recover from the illness. Most people recover within two weeks. Some people with more severe symptoms can take 12 weeks or more to feel entirely better. 

If you are unsure or concerned, contact your health care provider, call 8-1-1 (to talk to a nurse at HealthLinkBC (24 hours a day, seven days a week), or go to health centre to be assessed. 

Indigenous people (and their non-Indigenous family members) may contact the First Nations Virtual Doctor of ​the Day program (phone: 1-855-344-3800).

Note that some First Nations communities or health regions may have different guidelines for isolation periods. Please check to learn of any enhanced isolation guidelines to support further protection of your community. 

Manage Sym​ptoms

Most people can safely manage their symptoms with home treatment, such as drinking plenty of fluids, rest, and using a humidifier or hot shower to ease a cough or sore throat. If you have a fever, you can use non-prescription medicine like acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil) to help with some of the symptoms of COVID-19.

If your symptoms worsen, or if you do not improve after five or six days, call 8-1-1, your family doctor, a health centre, or the First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day so they can determine if you need to be assessed again.

Go to an emergency department or call 911 if you:

  • find it hard to breathe
  • have chest pain
  • can't drink anything
  • feel very sick
  • feel confused

If you are immune-compromised, speak to your health care provider. You may need to isolate for a longer period and/or you may be eligible for specific treatments.

If you are not sure if you are at risk for severe clinical illness​ check with your health care provider.

Living with Post-COVID-19

Some people who have had COVID-19 experience a range of symptoms that can last months or years after the initial illness, which can then have a significant impact on quality of life and function. 

Post-COVID-19 is an umbrella term for any symptoms that remain after you are initially infected with COVID-19.

Let Your Close ​Contacts Know

If you test positive for COVID-19, let your close contacts know so they can monitor for symptoms even if they are fully vaccinated or had COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

Generally, you should notify:

  • people you live with
  • people you had intimate contact with 

Everyone in the household should monitor symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 and stay home if they develop symptoms.

A close contact is generally someone who has been near a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes when health and safety measures were not in place or were insufficient.

With the spread of the more transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19, there has been an increase in COVID-19 in our communities and many people will be exposed to COVID-19. 

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

Instructions for Your Close Contacts

You can provide your close contacts with the following information:

You may have been exposed to COVID-19. 

You should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days from the day you last had contact with the person who has COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated or had COVID-19 in the last 90 days. You should get tested if you develop any symptoms:

  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • body aches
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty breathing
  • extreme fatigue or tiredness
  • fever or chills
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of sense of smell or taste
  • nausea or vomiting
  • sore throat

Contacts of Peopl​e Who Have COVID-19

If you are a contact of a positive case of COVID-19 you need to SELF-MONITOR for symptoms of COVID-19, even in you are fully vaccinated or had COVID-19 in the last 90 days:

  • you should avoid settings or people that are higher risk for severe COVID-19 (those in hospital, in long-term care, with compromised immune systems or who are over age 70 years) for 10 days
  • you should continue to follow relevant public health measures such as masking, handwashing, and staying home when sick, and follow public health orders (BC Provincial website)​
  • you can continue to participate in routine activities, such as work or school, as long as you do not have any symptoms

If you develop symptoms, stay home until you are well enough to participate in your usual activities and check to see if it is recommended that you get tested (BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool).

Approved COVID-19 Treatments in BC

People who are extremely vulnerable to severe illness might benefit from COVID-19 treatments if diagnosed early in the stages of infection.  

If your primary care provider has already determined that you are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 infection, and you are experiencing symptoms, you are encouraged to:

  • Test early to determine if you have a COVID-19 infection.
  • If you tested positive for COVID-19, contact your primary care provider or the First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day (phone: 1-855-344-3800) to see if you are eligible for Paxlovid or Sotrovimab.

It is important to note that medical treatments such as Paxlovid and Sotrovimab do not prevent infection and are not considered a replacement for vaccine. They are only effective when taken early after COVID-19 infection and do not prevent possible future infections. Only some patients may benefit from these treatments as determined by your primary care provider.  


Paxlovid is an oral antiviral (pill) to treat patients at risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. When prescribed and taken early after diagnosis, it reduces risk in persons who are extremely vulnerable to severe illness. Paxlovid is a combination of two antiviral ingredients of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. 


Sotrovimab is a virus-specific antibody also known as monoclonal antibody. It is offered to individuals at high risk of severe illness following COVID-19 infection. Sotrovimab is an intravenous (through a vein) injection treatment given by a healthcare professional once over a 60 minute period in a hospital or clinical setting. 


 Looking for BC government COVID-19 info?


 Looking for BCCDC Info?

​​BC Centre for Disease Control COVID-19 web portal​