What to do if you get a positive COVID-19 test result

What your result means

A positive test result means the virus that causes COVID-19 infection has been found in your body. For most people, symptoms of COVID-19 are mild and can be managed at home.

What you need to do

Continue to self-isolate and follow these recommendations.

A nurse from Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC) will call you as soon as possible to discuss:

  • isolation; and
  • questions you may have about the information we provide here.

We contact people based on a risk approach. You’ll receive a call within 48 hours.

When you should you seek medical care

If you or your dependants have or develop any of the following symptoms, call 911 and seek immediate emergency help:

  • severe difficulty breathing (for example, struggling for each breath or speaking in single words);
  • severe chest pain;
  • feelings of confusion; or
  • loss of consciousness (fainting).

If you’re concerned about your or your dependant’s symptoms and they’re are not listed above, or if you need medical advice, call 811 or your primary health care provider for guidance on your next steps. If others in your home have symptoms of COVID-19 and have not been tested, we highly recommend they get tested.

If you have a medical condition

Contact your primary health care provider if:

  • you’re pregnant; or
  • you have a chronic medical condition including:
    • conditions that affect your breathing, such as COPD and asthma;
    • heart disease; or
    • immune compromise.

How to safely isolate at home

  1. It’s important that you self-isolate away from other people in your home who have not been diagnosed with COVID-19. If other people in your home also have COVID-19, you do not need to isolate away from them. Get information about self-isolating at home. 
  2. People you live with who have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 are likely have COVID-19 too. We recommend they get tested as well. Find out where people can get tested for COVID-19.
  3. Follow the directions from YCDC on how long you need to isolate for. Remember even if your symptoms have gone away, you can still infect others. So continuing to isolate for the full time is very important to protect the health of people around you.

Most of the time, you’ll stop spreading the virus to others when:

  • 10 days have passed since you started having COVID-19 symptoms; and
  • you feel better; and
  • you do not have a fever (without taking medicine that reduces fevers). This includes all medications that decrease symptoms including Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

Some people need to isolate for longer than 10 days. We’ll let you know if you need to self-isolate for more than 10 days.

If you've travelled outside Canada

If you’re returning from travelling outside Canada and test positive for COVID-19, you need to follow the quarantine requirements set by the federal government, which includes 14 days of isolation.

Find out about the federal government’s quarantine requirements.

Get more information about how to isolate at home

View these resources from BC Centre for Disease Control:

Isolating if you live on your own

We know that isolating in your home as a single person is challenging. We recommend you connect with family or friends to ensure someone in the community will support you during your isolation.

In Whitehorse, you can order groceries online with contactless pick up.

Find out about support services for self-isolation. 

We also include a list of resources below for economic and social support and mental health and wellness.

Isolating if you’re a caregiver

If you’re the primary caregiver for a child or dependant who has COVID-19 read this guidance from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control about caring for someone sick at home with COVID-19.

If you’re fully vaccinated and completed your COVID-19 vaccination 14 days ago, at this time you are not required to self-isolate. However, we strongly recommend spending less time with people, especially if they’re at risk of getting very sick.

Wearing a medical grade mask when you’re in the home where you provide care as well as outside the home will also protect those around you.

We encourage you to wear a mask wherever possible.

Read the information for caregivers about self-isolation. 

You should self-monitor for symptoms and isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms, no matter how mild.

If you’re breastfeeding

If you have COVID-19 and are breastfeeding, continue to breastfeed.

See B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s guidance on how to do this safely.

If you have concerns about COVID-19 and breastfeeding, contact your primary care provider.

Household contacts

We know that in certain circumstances, people in the same household are unable to isolate away from each other. In these situations, we consider people without COVID-19 to be exposed to COVID-19 until we’ve told the last person in the home that they no longer need to isolate.

Anyone in the household who is not fully vaccinated needs to:

  • isolate for 10 days; and
  • then self-monitor for symptoms for another 4 days after we’ve cleared the last person in that household.

This time is for you to watch for symptoms of COVID-19. If you develop symptoms we recommend that you get tested.

If multiple people in your home test positive over the course of this time, the isolation length can be a long time depending on the household. This is why we strongly recommend that people isolate away from others in these situations, including using:

  • other locations to isolate in the community; or
  • the self-isolation facility.

Find out about getting support for self-isolation.

Notifying your non-household contacts

To decrease the spread of infection, you should notify your contacts that they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

Follow our guidance on how to notify your close contacts if you've tested positive for COVID-19.

We'll give you resources to help you:

  • see when you’d have been able to spread COVID-19 (this is your infectious period); and
  • to work out who’s a contact.

If you’re diagnosed with COVID-19, we’ll ask you if you attended any high risk settings while you were infectious. We’ll carry out contact tracing in these locations. You'll need to notify your contacts for all other settings.

Reinfection of COVID-19

You can get infected with COVID-19 more than once. This is called reinfection. Reinfection means a person got COVID-19, recovered and then became infected with COVID-19 again later. While cases of reinfection have been reported, they‘re rare.

Get vaccinated

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 and to prevent a serious case of infection. People who have had COVID-19 should complete a primary immunization series. For most people this is 2 doses.

You should wait until you’ve recovered and feel better before getting the vaccine.

We’re still learning how long immunity lasts from infection or from vaccination. It likely lasts for at least several months in most people.

Resources for more information