COVID-19 testing and self-isolation

Jump to: NH COVID-19 test booking form

If you experience any symptoms of COVID-19, even mild ones, get tested right away.

Please see below for information on how to get a test, your results and how to self-isolate if testing positive. If you are identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19 see below for information on your next steps, which is based on your vaccination status.

I have COVID-19

If you received a positive test result for COVID-19:

  • Continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the first day your symptoms started.
  • Tell your household, family, and social close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
    • Your close contacts are generally the people who were near you for at least 15 minutes when health and safety measures were not in place or were insufficient. This includes the two days before your symptoms started.
    • This resource will help you identify and notify your close contacts. It includes information to help your close contacts understand what they should do next depending on their vaccination status: Guidance for COVID-19 cases and contacts in the Northern Health region
  • Northern Health’s public health team will try to contact you within 3 days of receiving your positive test result.
    • Public health may identify and notify more of your close contacts if you were in a priority setting. For example: health care and long-term care, First Nations communities, K-12 schools, childcare facilities.
    • This infographic will help you know what to expect when public health calls: Positive test result for COVID-19? (PDF)
  • If you have questions or concerns about your health, call your Primary Care Provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner), the Northern Health Virtual Clinic at 1-844-645-7811, or HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1.

Resources:

Public Health COVID-19 phone line: 1-855-755-3555

This is a confidential voice mailbox only for people who tested positive for COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19. If you have questions about your isolation or your exposure, call and leave a voice message with your name, date of birth, phone number, and personal heath number. You will receive a call back within 3 to 4 days between 8:30 am and 4 pm. 

If, at any time, you are feeling unwell and are worried this might be an emergency due to severe difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 9-1-1 (or your local emergency service). Emergency departments are available to those who need them.

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I am a close contact

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. This includes up to two days before the person with COVID-19 developed symptoms.

If you have been told you are a close contact by someone with COVID-19, or by public health, your next steps as a close contact depend on your vaccination status and the date of your last exposure. Your last date of exposure is the last time you spent time with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19.

Your Vaccination Status Your Actions

Second vaccine for COVID-19 was at least 7 days before your last date of exposure

or

NOT vaccinated for COVID-19 AND had COVID-19 within 90 days of last date of exposure

or

One vaccine for COVID-19 and NOT a household member

  • Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.
  • You do not need to self isolate.

NOT vaccinated for COVID-19

or

One vaccine for COVID-19 AND a household member

  • Self-isolate and watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days from your last date of exposure.
  • Continue to watch for symptoms for 4 more days.

Unsure about what to do

  • Self-isolate and call the NH Public Health COVID-19 phone line (1-855-755-3555).
  • Leave a voicemail with your name, date of birth, and Personal Health Number. Also say you are a close contact who needs an isolation assessment.
  • Self-isolate until you receive a call back. Public Health will call you back as soon as possible.

Resources:

Public Health COVID-19 phone line: 1-855-755-3555

This is a confidential voice mailbox only for people who tested positive for COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19. If you have questions about your isolation or your exposure, call and leave a voice message with your name, date of birth, phone number, and personal heath number. You will receive a call back within 3 to 4 days between 8:30 am and 4 pm. 

If, at any time, you are feeling unwell and are worried this might be an emergency due to severe difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 9-1-1 (or your local emergency service). Emergency departments are available to those who need them.

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Testing and results

Testing:

When to get tested

Some symptoms are more likely to be related to COVID-19 than others. Learn when you should get tested:

If you have cold, influenza or COVID-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate:

How to get a test

If you’re exhibiting cold, influenza, or COVID-19 like symptoms, you can arrange for a test by:

  • Completing the NH COVID-19 test booking form, or scan the QR code below with the camera on your smart phone.
  • Contacting your primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner)
  • Calling the Northern Health Virtual Primary and Community Care Clinic at 1-844-645-7811

QR code

COVID-19 testing locations are in communities across the Northern Health region. You must have an appointment for a COVID-19 test. Do not go to the emergency room for a COVID-19 test.

You must self-isolate while you wait for your test result

Types of tests

Learn what types of tests are available including those for adults and children:

PCR testing

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is currently done in Northern BC and is the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19. Results are available within 24-72 hours depending on the distance between the testing site and lab.

Point of Care testing

Point-of-care (POC) tests are used in select circumstances, when the benefits of using a rapid test outweigh the decreased accuracy. If you test positive for COVID-19 with a rapid test, please self-isolate and seek a PCR COVID-19 test (see above “How to get a test”).

Asymptomatic testing

Private testing/Testing for travel

There are some private pay clinics that offer testing for a fee to people who require asymptomatic testing for reasons that fall outside of BC public health recommendations such as for travel or employment.

Results:

Get your COVID-19 test results online, by text, or by phone through one of the services listed on the BCCDC Test Results page.

The following are additional options for people who live in the Northern Health region:

HealthELife

  • If you live in the Northern Health region and had a COVID-19 test at a Northern Health facility, you can check your COVID-19 test results online through HealthELife.
  • If you haven't signed up yet for HealthELife visit the Northern Health HealthELife page to get started. You’ll need government-issued photo ID, including your personal health number.
  • Technical support for HealthELife is available 24/7 at 1-877-767-1046.
  • Note: If your test was sent outside Northern Health for processing, your COVID-19 results may not appear in HealthELife yet. We’re currently working to address this issue. If you can’t see your results in HealthELife, check one of the other methods listed on the BC Centre for Disease Control test results page.

My Care Compass (formerly My eHealth)

  • Northern Health region residents can also use My Care Compass online service to receive test results if they are aged 16 or older. To use My Care Compass, you will need to provide your Personal Health Number (PHN) at the clinic or collection centre when you take your COVID-19 test. You can register for My Care Compass at 1-888-522-7758.

Find out what your COVID-19 test results mean: 

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