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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

BC's provincial health officer has declared COVID-19 a public health emergency. Find information about COVID-19, how to protect yourself, your family and your community.

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Last updated: May 2024

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and the common cold.

B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan

B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan is designed to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, including topics like the vaccine approval process and B.C.’s plan for vaccine distribution, see HealthLink BC: COVID-19 immunization.

For information on COVID-19 and its treatment, call 1-888-COVID-19 (1-888-268-4319) or call 8-1-1 for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


To learn about COVID-19 symptoms, what to do if you are feeling ill, and who may be at higher risk for complications, see:

Self-isolation and COVID-19

Self-isolation means staying home and avoiding situations where you are in contact with others. It is an important measure used to stop the spread of illness. If you have COVID-19, you can manage your illness similar to how you manage other respiratory infections like influenza (flu). Stay home if you feel sick and take prevention measures to limit the spread of infection. There are a number of reasons why you should or may be required to self-isolate. For more information about self-isolation, visit:


Self-monitoring means paying close attention to how you feel. Everyone should routinely monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Record your temperature if you feel chills or feverish. You may also need to help children or close contacts who are older or chronically ill to self-monitor.

Learn more about who needs to self-monitor at BC Centre for Disease Control: Self-Isolation and Self-Monitoring.


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:

To learn more about testing, visit:


There are some specific treatments available for COVID-19. For more information, see BC Centre for Disease Control: Treatments.

To find out if treatment may be right for you, visit the Province of British Columbia: COVID-19 testing and treatments page.

For additional information on COVID-19 treatments, visit:

When seeing a health care provider, please tell them:

  • Your symptoms
  • Where you have been travelling or living
  • If you had close or prolonged contact with a sick person, especially if they had a fever, cough or difficulty breathing

CanTreatCOVID study

The CanTreatCOVID study is open to adults in B.C. who:

  • Tested positive for COVID-19 with symptoms starting within the last 5 days and
  • Aged 18 to 49 years with chronic condition(s) or 50 years and older regardless of health status

Participants in the study may be eligible to receive COVID-19 medications (including Paxlovid). Visit or call 1-888-888-3308 for more information. The CanTreatCOVID study is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada. A CanTreatCOVID recruitment poster is available for download to post in pharmacies or clinics.

Reduce your risk of infection

Learn more about how to reduce your risk of infection.

Travel and COVID-19

For the latest travel advisory information, visit:


If you still have symptoms more than 3 months after your initial illness, you may be experiencing post COVID, or long COVID. The Provincial Health Services Authority: Post-COVID-19 Interdisciplinary Clinical Care Network offers clinical care, education (online resources sheets and videos) and access to research opportunities to support your recovery.

Mental health

COVID-19 infection can bring up feelings of confusion, sadness and anxiety. These are normal feelings when faced with uncertainty and health challenges. It is important to take care of your mental health and be kind to yourself. Learn more about mental health and COVID-19:

Children, youth and families

If you have COVID-19 and are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may have questions about your health and your baby’s health. You may have additional concerns about parenting while your children are staying home sick. Learn more about Children, youth and families during COVID-19.

Useful resources

For a list of trusted sources that HealthLink BC 8-1-1 uses to provide British Columbians with health information and advice, visit useful resources for COVID-19.

For information and updates on COVID-19 in other languages, visit:

American Sign Language videos are also available.

If you have concerns or questions about your health, contact HealthLink BC (8-1-1) at any time or speak with your health care provider.

The information provided in the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Health Feature has been adapted from the BC Centre for Disease Control: Testing for COVID-19, BC Centre for Disease Control: Symptoms, BC Centre for Disease Control: Masks, BC Centre for Disease Control: Travel, BC Centre for Disease Control: COVID-19 Vaccine, Government of Canada: Travel, testing, quarantine and borders pages, accessed May 2024.