The rules and issues around the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve and information changes consistently. Please take note of when our content was written and always go to the sources we’ve provided for the most current guidance.

BC has expanded testing to find new cases of COVID-19 and prevent the spread of disease in the community. We’re sharing information from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC) about what you should know about testing in BC right now.  

When testing is recommended: 

Testing is now recommended for anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms. Even if you only have mild symptoms, the BC CDC recommends that you get tested. You can determine if you need further assessment for COVID-19 by using the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool

If you have no symptoms, you do not require a test. A healthcare provider can also decide whether or not you need testing. 

What symptoms could look like: 

  • Fever 
  • Chills 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Sore throat and painful swallowing 
  • Stuffy or runny nose 
  • Loss of sense of smell 
  • Headache 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Fatigue 
  • Loss of appetite 

If you have developed symptoms you will need to self-isolate for at least 10 days so you do not spread the disease to others. You can also find more information on the BC CDC’s “if you are sick” page. Also, check out our blog post on how to keep others safe when you’re sick for some helpful tips. 

If you need to be tested for COVID-19: 

Once you’ve been tested: 

How long it takes to get your test results vary based on your testing location. While you wait for your test result, you should follow the advice of your doctor or testing provider to self-isolate.  

If you test positive, public health will contact you, but if you haven’t heard anything, you can also check your test results to see if you have negative results.  

If you test negative, there are still certain situations that require self-isolation (i.e. those with symptoms, those exposed to a case of COVID-19, international travellers, etc.). Find out more on the BC CDC’s testing page

Did you like this? You might like these posts too!      

COVID-19: which disinfectants work?   
Physical distancing: myths and reminders   
Masks and COVID-19: what we know right now   
Talking to kids about COVID-19  
COVID-19 and food safety: the basics 

Look through all of our COVID-19 related information on our website.  

Where do we fit in?

Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation.       

About Consumer Protection BC: 

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at