Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). The illness caused by the 2019 coronavirus has been named COVID-19.
Get a COVID-19 vaccine
Starting in October, anyone aged six months and older has the chance to receive both the updated influenza (flu) and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time.
Changes to self-isolation guidance
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 their symptoms have improved, and they are able to participate in their usual activities.
We are currently updating the information below to reflect the most recent guidance. Please see BCCDC COVID-19 for the full up-to-date information.
In B.C., COVID-19 testing is only recommended for those with new or worsening COVID-19-like symptoms (e.g. fever and cough) and when testing could impact their treatment or care. This includes hospitalized patients, pregnant people, and those eligible for anti-viral treatment. All children who are suspected of having multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) should also be tested.
If you are unsure whether you should get a COVID-19 test: use the COVID-19 self-assessment or contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1.
COVID-19 is spread by the respiratory droplets an infected person produces when they breathe, cough, sneeze, talk, or sing. If you are in contact with an infected person, the virus can enter your body if droplets get into your throat, nose, or eyes. Droplets come in a wide range of sizes and they behave differently depending on their size. Larger droplets are heavier, and they usually fall to the ground within two meters. Smaller droplets, also known as aerosols, are lighter and they can float in the air for longer.
Prevention and risks
As public health measures are lifted, it’s important to remember that we have many tools, such as vaccines, treatments and our own actions that can protect us from the impacts of COVID-19.
You can determine how and when to use these tools while supporting your family’s overall physical and mental health. These tools will help everyone be safer from COVID-19 and other illnesses, and they are even more important if you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include new or worsening
- Fever or chills
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose
- Extreme fatigue or tiredness
- Headache or Body aches
- Nausea or vomiting
Self-Isolation and Self-Monitoring
Information on self-isolation and self-monitoring for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
When you self-isolate, you stay home and keep away from others to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
When you self-monitor, you check yourself daily for symptoms of COVID-19.