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Information for those who have symptoms, test positive for COVID-19 and close contacts

Updated: April 13, 2022

Due to more people testing positive for COVID-19 and the emergence of the Omicron variant, case and contact management practices have changed. BCHU will not contact all positive cases who have received a PCR test as it has done in the past.

Some of the requirements for high-risk contacts have changed and we ask that you review this webpage carefully and follow the instructions. Please be aware that close contacts will not receive a call from BCHU at this time. 

If you have questions regarding provincial testing and access, and/or would like additional guidance regarding self-isolation or possible/confirmed COVID-19 exposure, please call the Provincial Testing and Isolation Information Line at 1-888-777-0730, available Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

I have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive. Now what?

You must self-isolate right away to protect those around you. Self-isolation prevents the spread of COVID-19. Self-isolation means staying at home, avoiding contact with other people including those in your household if possible, and only leaving home for critical reasons, like a medical emergency.

  • Follow Public Health Ontario for instructions on how to effectively self- isolate. 
  • You should be staying in a separate room from your family members and have very limited to no contact with them. 
  • If needing to come out of your room and access a common living space (i.e., kitchen or bathroom), you must wear a mask and keep 6-feet distance. Additionally, others in your house should regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.

Monitor your symptom progression:

  • If you develop serious symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath and are not coping well at home, you should seek medical attention.
  • If seeking medical attention, wear a mask, maintain physical distancing, and inform the healthcare worker immediately that you have tested positive for COVID-19.

Click here to view the flowchart of what to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19

People who are contacts of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 (high-risk/close contacts)

A high-risk contact is someone who was in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact is being within 2 meters (6 feet) of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time or having multiple close encounters, even when both people are wearing a mask.

Some examples of high-risk situations include: 

  • Physical contact such as shaking someone’s hand, hugging kissing, being sneezed or coughed on.
  • Living in the same household (this excludes individuals who live in a completely separate unit such as a self-contained basement apartment). 
  • Providing care to someone (e.g., taking care of an elderly parent).

If you've been exposed to someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive, click here to view the self-isolation chart.

For individuals who work/volunteer/attend a highest risk setting and do not have any symptoms:

  • Follow guidance for contacts  regarding self-monitoring/self-isolation in the community (i.e., outside of the highest risk setting), unless otherwise directed by the public health unit

  • Close contacts should not be working in highest risk settings for 10 days after last exposure, unless required for. critical work shortages (their employer will advise about this).

  • Close contacts who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days (based on positive rapid antigen test or molecular test results) can attend work in the highest-risk setting, as long as they are currently asymptomatic. These individuals are advised to self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days after last exposure.