COVID-19 Testing

Sick at home drinking tea

In B.C., COVID-19 testing is only recommended when it can impact treatment or care.

What to expect

In B.C., A COVID-19 test is recommended when a positive or negative result will inform decisions about treatment or care. Testing is recommended for people with symptoms of COVID-19 and who are:

Otherwise, If you have symptoms of any respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, influenza, RSV or other coronaviruses, stay home until you feel better.

  • Stay home and away from others until your fever is gone (without using medicines that reduce fever, like Tylenol), and you feel well enough to participate in daily activities. There is no required self-isolation period. 
  • Avoid close contact with others, especially people at higher risk of severe illness or complications from respiratory infections.
  • If you cannot avoid close contact with others, take other preventive measures, such as wearing a mask in indoor spaces and cleaning your hands regularly.

Accessing other COVID-19 care

If you are unsure whether you should get a COVID-19 test, use the COVID-19 self-assessment, contact your health-care provider or call 8-1-1. If you are at greater risk of severe disease you can get a PCR test from your physician or nurse practitioner, at a walk-in clinic, or at an Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC). If you experience any symptoms such as loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing or chest pain, do not delay in seeking treatment. Visit your local emergency department or call 9-1-1. 

Information for health-care providers

Family doctor and nurse practitioner offices who intend to administer COVID-19 PCR testing from their clinic location can access appropriate supplies through their usual clinical supply chains. For those not providing testing services on-site, LifeLab sites operating in the VCH region accept laboratory requisitions from health-care providers for COVID-19 testing. Please note on the requisition that this is a “COVID-19 MSP PCR test.”