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COVID-19 testing

Testing is available for all who need it but not everyone requires a test. If you develop symptoms, use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help determine if you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to. 

Please visit an emergency department if you are experiencing health conditions that require urgent and emergency care. Read the news release on Emergency departments prepared to safely care for patients. For COVID-19 testing locations, please see "Where to get tested" section below. 

Who can be tested for COVID-19?

Anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-like symptoms can now be assessed. Individuals in the following groups should be prioritized for testing:

  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities

  • Individuals requiring admission to hospital or likely to be admitted, such as pregnant individuals near-term, patients on hemodialysis, or cancer patients receiving radiation or chemotherapy.

  • Health-care workers

  • Individuals with a higher probability of being infected with COVID-19 such as contacts of a known case of COVID-19 and travellers just returned to Canada

  • Residents of remote, isolated, or Indigenous communities

  • People living in congregate settings such as work-camps, correctional facilities, shelters, group homes, assisted living and seniors’ residences

  • People who are homeless or have unstable housing

  • Essential service providers, such as first responders

If you need help determining if you need further assessment or testing, visit the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool or speak with your health-care provider.

Who should not be tested for COVID-19?

COVID-19 testing is not recommended for individuals without symptoms.

What should I do after I get a COVID-19 test?

If your health care provider has decided it is safe for you to go home after your COVID-19 test, please follow the latest guidelines from the BCCDC

Frequently asked questions

For answers to frequently asked questions, click "+" on the questions below.

You can get a COVID-19 test from a physician, nurse practitioner or an urgent and primary care centre. Please call ahead before visiting. You can call 8-1-1 to find a testing centre near you. Click on the image or links below for a list of collection centres in the province to find one near you. 

If you were tested for COVID-19, you will be sent home to self-isolate until the results are provided to you. Visit the self-isolate page for details.

  • If your result is positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by Public Health.

  • If you have not been contacted, you can get your negative results by phone, text or online. For more information on test results, please visit's test results information.  

‎If you are sick but test negative for COVID-19, stay home until your symptoms resolve and you are well enough to return to your usual activities.

Even if you have tested negative, there may be situations where you still have to self-isolate for 14 days:

  • Those exposed to a case of COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days from your last contact with a case of COVID-19 even if you test negative.

  • International travellers returning to Canada must continue self-isolate for 14 days from the day you landed back in Canada even if you test negative.

  • Health care providers check with your employer about self-isolation following a negative test and report any symptoms. Workplaces may have different return to work policies after a negative COVID-19 test.

If you develop new symptoms following a negative test, seek advice from your physician.  You may need to get tested again.

Other questions?

Visit our FAQ section

SOURCE: COVID-19 testing ( )
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