As COVID-19 testing sites across B.C. are inundated with people seeking tests, there is some confusion on how long people are required to isolate if they are showing symptoms.
CHEK spoke with people in downtown Victoria to see what they thought, some guesses ranged between five days to 14 days.
“There’s confusion because there’s a change,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.
As Omicron quickly took over as the dominant strain, health officials reduced the isolation period from 10 days to five, just before 2022.
But the most recent advice is if you have a mild illness and can’t get a COVID test? Stay home, until you’re better.
“We’ve been at the peak of our PCR testing for a number of weeks now,” said Henry.
“It goes for all of us right now, that we can go back to activities when the symptoms are resolving and we can fully able to participate in our day-to-day activities.”
Given the testing limitations, health officials now say anyone, kids or adults, with a “mild illness” can go back to work or school once their symptoms have stopped.
It’s a change teachers in Victoria are concerned may increase exposures in schools.
“You might be feeling a little bit better and then realize when you’re at school actually you’re not better, actually you’re sicker,” said Winona Waldron, president of the Greater Victoria Teachers Association.
“It sounds like we’re telling people who are still sick and contagious to go back to school because they feel better.”
As a result, Waldron says in the Greater Victoria School District, more absences of students and teachers will happen.
“I think the potential future of a functional closure is looming,” said Waldron.
She’s hoping that any closures which do happen are school-specific.