Content Map Terms
COVID-19 testing is not recommended for adults and children who don't have symptoms of COVID-19. A COVID-19 test is only recommended when its result will help inform decisions about your treatment or care. For more information about who needs testing, see: BC Centre for Disease Control: Testing for COVID-19.
Some symptoms could be signs of other conditions or medical issues and you may need to seek medical care, even if it's not related to COVID-19. If you feel unwell and are unsure about your symptoms, contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1.
Testing for Children and Youth
If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, check if they need testing. If your infant is less than 3 months of age and has a fever or shows signs of illness, they should be seen by a health care provider. For more information, visit BC Centre for Disease Control: COVID-19 illness in children.
Rapid Antigen Tests
Use a rapid antigen test at home to find out if you have COVID-19. The results will be ready in less than 20 minutes.
Rapid antigen tests are available for free at many community pharmacies. You don’t have to show ID. If you can’t go to a pharmacy, a friend or family member can pick up a test kit for you.
A positive test is acceptable for getting treatment, if you are eligible.
Learn more about how to use a Rapid Testing kit and what the test results mean:
- BC Centre for Disease Control: Rapid Testing at Home
- Government of British Columbia: Rapid Antigen Testing kits
Testing for Travel
If you require a test for travel purposes, you will need to pay for a test at a private clinic. Testing to screen for COVID-19 before traveling is not available through the B.C. provincial health-care system. For information about private pay clinics, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control: Where to get a COVID-19 test in BC.
COVID-19 Testing for Non-MSP Individuals
If you are in B.C. and are not eligible for MSP coverage, you may be able to use provincially insured health-care coverage for COVID-19 treatment. This health care coverage applies to medical services related to COVID-19 infection. If you are not eligible for MSP, any services unrelated to COVID-19 are still uninsured. Your health care provider will determine your eligibility for this coverage.
For more information on MSP and its response to COVID-19, see:
- Government of British Columbia: Coverage Wait Period
- Government of British Columbia: MSP response to COVID-19
To learn more about your test results and what to do once you receive your results, visit BC Centre for Disease Control: Understanding Test Results.
Last updated: June 30, 2023
The information provided above has been adapted from the BCCDC: Rapid Testing at Home, BCCDC: Testing, BCCDC: Test Results, BCCDC: Understanding Test Results and Government of British Columbia: Rapid Antigen Testing kits pages accessed June 28, 2023.