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If you are sick, learn what to do next

Last updated: April 22, 2022

If you have respiratory symptoms consistent with COVID-19

To preserve testing capacity for those at higher risk from COVID-19 and those who live or work in higher risk settings, you do not need to get tested if you have mild symptoms. Instead, you are advised to stay at home and self-isolate until you feel well enough to resume your regular activities. You do not need to do your own contact tracing or report your illness to Public Health. Your close contacts do not need to take additional measures: they should self-monitor for symptoms, and stay home if they get sick.


If you have tested positive for COVID-19

If you are fully vaccinated or under age 18, self-isolate right away for five days from when symptoms began (10 days for unvaccinated adults). Most people who get COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms that can be managed at home. You do not need to do your own contact tracing. Your household and/or intimate contacts do not need to take additional measures: they should self-monitor for symptoms, and stay home if they get sick.

Resources are available to support you during your self-isolation. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, have read these resources, and have additional urgent questions about your isolation plan, please email COVID19info@vch.ca or call (604) 829-7901.


Manage your illness

If you are fully vaccinated or under the age of 18, do not go to work, school, or to any public places for at least five days from when your symptoms began, or until you feel better. If you are an unvaccinated adult, aged 18 or older, self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms began. Stay and sleep in a separate room from your household members and use a separate bathroom if possible, even if they are fully immunized.

More information on self-isolating and self-monitoring is available on the BCCDC website.

 

Many COVID-19 symptoms can be safely managed 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. 

You can call 8-1-1 anytime to talk to a nurse at HealthLinkBC. This service is available in 130 languages. If your symptoms worsen, or if you do not improve after five or six days, call 8-1-1, your family doctor or an Urgent and Primary Care Centre, so they can determine if you need to be assessed again. If you have chest pain or severe difficulty breathing, or are worried this might be an emergency, call 9-1-1 right away.‎

 

VACCINATION STATUS

GUIDANCE

If you have received your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and.


  1. At least five days have passed since your symptoms started. Continue to follow all Public Health orders and guidance after leaving isolation. 

  2. Fever has resolved for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.  

  3. Symptoms have improved.

If you are under 18 years old, regardless of vaccination status, and:

  1. At least five days have passed since your symptoms started. Continue to follow all Public Health orders and guidance after leaving isolation. 

  2. Fever has resolved for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

  3. Symptoms have improved.

If you are aged 18 or older and are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated for COVID-19, and:

  1. At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms started. Continue to follow all Public Health orders and guidance after leaving isolation.

  2. Fever has resolved for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

  3. Symptoms have improved.

 

 

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) can not provide testing or letters for proof of positive or negative COVID-19 status.

 

If a staff member tests positive, they should self-isolate for five days following guidance for self-isolation. Their close contacts do not need to take further actions unless they develop symptoms. Those who develop symptoms but are not eligible for testing should stay at home from work until their symptoms resolve.

Additional testing is not required to confirm a staff member is no longer infectious once they feel well enough to return to regular activity, including returning to their workplace.

For essential services and businesses: if a staff member has mild symptoms but tests negative for COVID-19, they can return to work once they feel well enough to do so.

No essential services should be closed for Public Health reasons unless directed to do so by a Medical Health Officer. Some businesses may need to close for operational reasons due to staffing shortages.

If you’re not fully vaccinated or you have not received your booster, you should still get vaccinated after you have recovered and ended your self-isolation. Vaccines boost your immunity and have shown to be highly effective in preventing serious illness and death, even after you have had a COVID-19 infection. Learn more about vaccination from BCCDC

 

If you require a copy of your positive PCR test for travel clearance please follow these instructions on healthgateway.gov.bc.ca or contact your primary care provider. 

Travel clearance letters are not required if you have a positive result for a COVID-19 molecular (PCR) test that was performed on a specimen collected at least 11 days and no more than 180 days before departure date. Please see Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID 19 for more information.

If you require a travel clearance letter for the period between 5-14 days or you tested with a rapid test please contact the VCH Travel Clinic travelclinic.vch.ca. Fees apply. 

 
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