You have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19

You have been identified as a close contact to a person with COVID-19. Public health will call you to check your COVID-19 vaccine history and contact with the virus. They will let you know whether you need to self-monitor or continue to self-isolate.

COVID-19 can spread before a person has any signs of illness. You must self-isolate immediately while you wait for further information from public health. 

How do I self-isolate

Your self-isolation starts from the day you were last in close contact with the person with COVID-19.

Self-isolation means:

  • Staying at home
  • Staying away from others in the home
  • Using a separate bathroom if possible
  • Getting basics like groceries and medications delivered or brought to you by someone not in self-isolation

You can exercise outside as long as you can stay at least two metres away from others.

  • Do not go to work, school, or other public areas (such as grocery stores, shopping malls, fitness centres, or places of worship)
  • Do not have visitors
  • Do not share personal items with others
  • Do not use public transport

Learn more about self-isolation.

What if I get sick?

  • If you get sick with signs of a cold, the flu, or COVID-like illness (even mild ones):
    • Get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible. 
  • If you are self-isolating and have no signs of illness:
    • We recommend you get tested 7 days or more after you were last in contact with a person infected with COVID-19. 
    • When booking your appointment select the option: “I have been sent for testing by Public Health”

No matter whether you have signs of illness or not, if you have been told to self-isolate and your test is negative for COVID-19, you must continue to self-isolate for the full 14 days.

Where to get tested?

When should I get medical care?

People with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of more severe illness due to COVID-19. This can include older people and people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart, renal or chronic lung disease.

  • If your symptoms feel worse than a common cold:
  • Call 8-1-1 any time day or night if you have any questions or concerns about your health
  • Call 9-1-1 if you have more severe symptoms, such as trouble breathing or chest pain
  • If you go for medical care, call ahead. Let them know you are self-isolating.

When can I end my self-isolation?

You can end your self-isolation if you do not get signs of a cold, the flu, or COVID-19-like illness for 14 days. The 14 days start from when you were last in close contact with the person with COVID-19.

If you cannot self-isolate from a person with COVID-19, such as you live in the same home, you must continue to self-isolate until 14 days after the person with COVID-19 has finished their self-isolation period.  

What if I have already had 1 or 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccine is very good at keeping people from getting very sick with COVID-19.

If you are a close contact of a person infected with COVID-19, public health will review your vaccine history and contact with the virus. This review determines whether you must self-isolate or self-monitor for 14 days from when you were in last contact with the person who has COVID-19.

What if public health tells me to “self-monitor”?

Use the COVID-19 Assessment tool every day to check for any symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from when you were last in close contact with the person with COVID-19.

If you feel well, you may continue to go to work, school and all activities. Avoid being around people who would be at a higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness, such as the elderly and people with weak immune systems due to medication use or illnesses.

If you become ill, isolate away from others and book an appointment to get a COVID-19 test. Continue to isolate until your results are back and symptoms go away.

Where can I learn more?

To learn more about COVID-19:

If you have any questions or concerns, please call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1. To speak with someone in your language, call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1.

When you call, say your language in English 3 times, then wait until an interpreter comes on the phone. 

Download our contact notice sheet below: