Testing for Staff/Medical Staff

Rapid access testing for health care workers

Health-care workers will now receive expedited access to testing and lab results will be prioritized accordingly. 
Health-care workers must identify themselves with their staff ID in order to use the rapid access process. Qualified groups include PHC staff, staff from other health authorities, contracted providers (i.e., staff at LTC, DTES programs, adult day programs, etc.), physicians, nurse practitioners and Primary Care Network allied health staff.   

Rapid Access Testing Sites (drive through or walk-in)
Richmond Assessment Centre – 6820 Gilbert Rd. (parking lot of the Richmond Tennis Club), Richmond, B.C. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Honoria Conway at St. Vincent’s, adjacent gravel lot – Advanced Parking Lot #9075, the 700 block of West 33rd Avenue, entrance off West 33rd Avenue by Heather Street, Vancouver, B.C. Open daily, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Vancouver Community College, north parking lot #865 – 1155 E. Broadway, Vancouver, B.C., enter parking lot on 7th Avenue between Keith and Glen Drive. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

ICBC Capilano Claims Centre – 255 Lloyd Ave., North Vancouver, B.C. Open daily, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Negative results can be accessed online, by text, or by phone. Visit the BCCDC webpage for more details. 

Resources for Test Results
Health Gateway – The Health Gateway is a Ministry of Health initiative, which provides BC residents and their families – via an online web application – with secure access to a single view of their health information. Its features include providing access to dispensed medication information, providing the ability to create notes and add comments on medical records, and having access to individual lab results, including positive or negative COVID test results (if there’s a COVID positive result, the service guides you to wait for a public health representative to contact you with further instructions). Signing up to this helpful service is highly recommended for all PHC staff! 

Individuals can get negative test results online, by text or by phone through one of the services below:    

  • my ehealth – Outpatient COVID-19 test results from most areas of the province are available via my my ehealth, a fast and secure method to receive your test results if you are aged 16 or older. Patients need to provide a Personal Health Number (PHN) at the clinic or collection centre where their test is being done for results to be accessed via my my ehealth. 
  • Text message – Fill out the BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC) webform at www.bccdc.ca/coivd19results to receive negative test results by SMS (text) directly to your cell phone. Parents can also use this service for their children. This service is available to people who have a BC Personal Health Number (PHN) and tested for COVID-19 in the province of British Columbia. 
  • Phone – The BCCDC COVID-19 Negative Results line (1-833-707-2792) is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week. It may be easier to get through to someone on the line in the afternoon when the call volume is generally lower. 

Q & A

Who should be tested for COVID-19? 

On December 17, 2020, updated BC testing guidelines were released for people with no known COVID-19 close contacts and who have new or worsening symptoms:

Recommend testing if any ONE of the following symptoms more predictive or strongly associated with COVID-19 are reported.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough (either new onset or worsening/exacerbation of chronic cough)
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Difficulty breathing

Recommend testing if any TWO or more of the following general symptoms persist after 24 hours, and are not related to any other pre-existing conditions.

  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme fatigue or tiredness
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

For those who have had close contact with a COVID-19 case, and have even a single symptom included above, testing is recommended.

For further details regarding the indications for testing of people who are not hospitalized, please refer to the updated Adult & Pediatric Viral Testing Guidelines for British Columbia.

Note that the updated testing guidelines are intended for people not in hospital, and clinical judgement/assessment is necessary for consideration of COVID-19 testing in admitted patients or healthcare workers.

Consider a lower testing threshold for symptomatic individuals who:

  • Are residents or staff of long-term care facilities
  • Require admission to hospital or are likely to be admitted
  • Are healthcare workers
  • Are travellers who in the past 14 days returned to BC from outside Canada, or from an area with higher infection rates within Canada
  • Are residents of remote, isolated, or Indigenous communities
  • Live in congregate settings such as work-camps, correctional facilities, shelters, group homes, assisted living and seniors’ residences
  • Are homeless or have unstable housing
  • Are essential service providers, such as first responders.
  • Have a chronic medical condition, are at risk for severe illness, or are immunocompromised due to medication or treatment
  • Live with someone at risk of severe disease from COVID-19 infection (e.g., elderly, chronic conditions)


I don’t have any symptoms. Should I be tested?
COVID-19 testing is not recommended for asymptomatic individuals. Routine COVID-19 screening of asymptomatic people is not recommended in BC (e.g., in schools, prior to surgery or other procedures, in hospitals or healthcare settings, as a condition of employment or for travel). Medical Health Officers may recommend testing as part of public health investigations. Medical Health Officers may recommend testing for individuals who are part of a public health investigation of a case, cluster or an outbreak, regardless of symptom profile.
How do I access COVID-19 testing? 


Vancouver Acute 

Health-care workers and others should go to the Vancouver Community site (info below), the City Centre UPCC or REACH UPCC.

  • City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre (UPCC),
    1290 Hornby Street, Vancouver
  • REACH Urgent & Primary Care Centre (UPCC),
    1145 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

​Vancouver Community (with Providence Health Care)

Advanced Parking Lot #9075, 700 block West 33rd Avenue, Entrance is on the north side of West 33rd Avenue (between Willow and Heather Streets)​

Open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed on weekends starting June 27.
Please do not enter Honoria Conway​.

Downtown Eastside COVID-19 testing site, 429 Alexander Street, phone: 778-886-4081

​Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed between 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.)​​


ICBC Capilano Claims Centre – 255 Lloyd Ave., North Vancouver, B.C. Open daily, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

​​North Vancouver Urgent & Primary Care Centre (UPCC), 221 West Esplanade, Suite 200, North Vancouver
​Sechelt Hospital

​Book an appointment with the assessment clinic by calling 604-740-1252.
Please leave a message with the required details as per the phone instructions. You will receive a call back to book your appointment time.
NEW HOURS - Open 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, Monday to Friday


​Richmond Assessment Centre, 6820 Gilbert Road (parking lot of the Richmond Tennis Club)​​

​​​​​Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturdays and statutory holidays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Closed Sundays

Please see the VCH intranet site for the latest testing site information. 

What is the expected turn-around time? 

Expected turn-around-time is within 24 hours, but with increasing demand for COVID-19 testing and community, turnaround times may be longer. Large batches of specimens are run and reported almost continuously, seven days a week.

What should I do while awaiting test results?  

Until you are contacted with the test result, you are advised to self-isolate at home until results are provided to you, as directed in the handout you will be provided at the assessment site.
If your swab is negative and you are feeling better, you are to return to work for your next scheduled shift. If positive, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, or as directed by Public Health.

How will I find out the results of my COVID-19 testing? 

Ensure your contact information is up to date when you register at the assessment site. Positive results are sent to Public Health, who will then inform the client. Please access testing through one of the above recommended options in 'Resources for Test Results.'

We understand how stressful it is to wait, but please do not call virology, microbiology or the general lab for your personal COVID-19 testing resuts. Every call that must be answered will divert resources away from the processing of the tests, therefore prolonging the response time. Lab leadership appreciates your support in not phoning directly for results.

Please refer to the following links for self-care. For Providence staff, click here; for medical staff, click here

I tested negative for COVID-19 but I still have cold symptoms. When can I come back to work? 
As long as you are ill and symptomatic, stay home!
I was tested for COVID-19 and the swab came back negative. When can I come back to work?
When you are symptom-free, come back to work.
What if I test positive?
You will be instructed to self-isolate at home for 10 days, or as directed by Public Health. Please report the test results to your manager and call the Absence Call Line (ACL) to report.
I heard a colleague I work with tested positive for COVID.  What do I do?
Contact tracing will be done by PHC Occupational Health on all patients and health care workers who test positive. Your manager or Occupational Health will contact you to find out if you are symptomatic or to ensure you present early for testing if you do have symptoms. This applies to all staff including physicians and trainees.
Is St. Paul’s ED still testing staff or just at the drive-thru tent at the 33rd and Heather parking lot?
PHC staff can be tested in the Emergency Departments at both St. Paul’s and MSJ in addition to the drive-thru tent (33rd and Heather). Please note: symptomatic PHC health care workers should visit the drive-thru site if possible.
What if a family member (or someone in my household) gets COVID-19 or shows symptoms? 
Health care workers and essential staff can continue to self-monitor and to work as long as they remain asymptomatic. If you get symptoms, you must self-isolate. Please note that the BCCDC advises that if you live in the same household as a patient with respiratory symptoms, please do whatever you can to distance yourself from the patient. For example, stay in separate rooms, sleep in separate beds and use separate bathrooms, if possible.
How sick is too sick to come to work?
That little tickle in your throat, a slight fever, a mild cough, etc., must all be taken seriously. If you feel these symptoms coming on at home, stay there. If you feel them coming on at work, put on a mask. Finish any essential services you are providing. Get tested. Go home and self-isolate.
This page last updated Dec 21, 2020 10:16am PST