When to get tested: IH updates recommendations

No symptoms, no test needed

Amid climbing cases of COVID-19, Interior Health has released updated guidelines for when to get tested.

It comes alongside access to rapid testing, but only for those experiencing symptoms and with certain risk factors.

If you don’t have any symptoms or symptoms are mild and you’ve been fully vaccinated, there’s no need to test, even if you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19.

In a media release Tuesday, Interior Health outlined when testing is or isn’t recommended, maintaining that anyone with significant symptoms should be tested.

However, a COVID-19 test is not recommended if:

  • You have no symptoms, even if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.
  • You are fully vaccinated (two doses), experiencing mild symptoms and can manage your illness at home. Self-isolate for seven days. Notify your close contacts so they can self-monitor for symptoms.

A COVID-19 test is recommended if:

  • You are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms: fever or chills; cough; loss of sense of smell or taste; or difficulty breathing.
  • You have experienced one or more of the following symptoms for longer than 24 hours with no improvement: sore throat; loss of appetite; headache or body aches; extreme fatigue; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.

If you feel unwell and are unsure about your symptoms, contact a health care provider or call 8-1-1.

Still not sure? Use the B.C. COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to determine if you need to be tested.

More details and a full list of eligible symptoms and criteria is found here: When to get a COVID-19 test

Rapid COVID-19 tests at IH Community Collection Centres – week of Dec. 27

Rapid COVID-19 tests will be available at Interior Health Community Collection Centres (testing centres), beginning the week of Dec. 27.

Where available, rapid tests may be provided to individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and according to risk factors.

The collection centre for Kelowna is located at 2180 Ethel St.

No appointment is required to pick up a rapid test. Access may be temporarily limited depending on the supply available.

As of mid-January, B.C. health officials have said 500,000 tests would be available for students and staff in K-to-12 education, and 500,000 for post secondary education. A total of three million tests would be available for long term health and acute care.

However, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has previously stressed rapid testing was available for those vulnerable people or people who needed to be tested after contracting the virus. The tests were not being made available for people who wanted to check on their COVID status so they could socialize.

Latest COVID numbers

On Tuesday the government reported 1,785 new cases of which 269 were in Interior Health. The specific numbers for hospitalization, death and vaccination numbers are expected to be given Wednesday.

B.C. had reported 6,288 COVID-19 cases for the three-day period from Dec. 24 thru Dec.26.

There were 2,552 cases on Christmas Eve, 2,023 on Christmas Day and 1,713 on Boxing Day.

The figure for Christmas Eve was yet another daily record exceeding the 2,441 cases the previous day.

Published 2021-12-28 by Glenn Hicks

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