Going to Canada on June 1st, with a positive home COVID test today?
May 16, 2022 3:08 PM   Subscribe

Hey all. I possibly had baby COVID back in April, but now I feel sick again. So, I tested, again. This time, I got a solid positive for COVID on my home test. I'm supposed to go to Vancouver, BC, Canada for 5 days, starting June 1st, for a minicavation and to see an outdoor concert. My question - should I go? How many days should I be isolating? How many days does Canada require me to be testing negative before I travel? Is this trip even possible? Thank you.


I live in Seattle, am double vaxxed and double boosted with Pfizer, and had I think baby COVID back in late April. I had a COVID exposure, symptoms, and one of the home tests produced a very faint pink line by the 'T', so I read that as positive.

Got better from that, but I started feeling sick again this past weekend. Saturday's test was negative, but today's home test, when I started sneezing and coughing? Positive. A definite positive for COVID. I have a PCR test scheduled for tomorrow to confirm. I did buy travel insurance, fortunately, for this trip.
posted by spinifex23 to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (13 answers total)
 
Best answer: I'm so sorry to hear that you've got COVID! I can't speak to your legal requirements, but you're very likely to be fine to travel on June 1. Most people are no longer infectious between 10-14 days after testing positive, which you'll be over the line of before you travel. I would certainly rapid test and if possible PCR test on the 30th to confirm, since some people do shed virus for longer, and of course don't do anything really exhausting if you are still symptomatic.
posted by peppercorn at 3:15 PM on May 16 [4 favorites]


Best answer: Looks like if you're vaxxed, it's no signs, no symptoms. So if you're feeling better in 2 weeks, you're ready to go. Remember to upload your vax info, though.
posted by kingdead at 3:17 PM on May 16


Best answer: You've got two full weeks. As a vaccinated traveler, if you're clear of symptoms by then, you should be fine. Canada will let you in; in fact, with a positive PCR test ten days or more before your visit, you don't even have to be vaccinated. The risk is that you will test positive if chosen for a random test at the border (because PCRs can pick up the virus long after you recover), but after two weeks, this is unlikely, though possible.
posted by praemunire at 3:22 PM on May 16 [5 favorites]


Best answer: (You can do a dummy run on ArriveCAN to confirm your eligibility; you'll need to have an account set up anyway for your visit.)
posted by praemunire at 3:22 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


Best answer: There's a lot of information from the Canadian government which you can access when you install the ArriveCAN app.

If fully vaccinated, you apparently don't need to have a negative test prior to entry, though you may get randomly selected to take a test at YVR after you arrive (when I did this it was expensive, like 200 CDN).
posted by jasper411 at 3:22 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


Best answer: though you may get randomly selected to take a test at YVR after you arrive (when I did this it was expensive, like 200 CDN).

? This happened to me (well, it was either that or some border doofus misflagged me as not vaccinated) and they tested me on the spot without charge. They were also handing out stacks of follow-up tests. Now, I had to pay out of pocket to get the test to go back to the U.S.
posted by praemunire at 3:24 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


Best answer: Yeah, unless I’m very misinformed, Canada isn’t charging travelers for random arrival testing. There’s nothing about a cost mentioned on this page.

In any case, as mentioned in the link above, you’re exempt from arrival testing if you can show proof of recently recovering from COVID. So, get that PCR test.

If you’re flying back to the US, you’ll have to pay for a certified rapid test for the return trip (US entry requirements) which will run about CAD $50-100 depending on the provider.
posted by mekily at 3:34 PM on May 16


Best answer: Just to add to a suggestion above- PCR testing on the 30th would probably not be a good idea or very useful, because it’s a very sensitive test that may be positive even well after you’re no longer symptomatic or contagious.
posted by MadamM at 3:40 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Best answer: If you’re flying back to the US, you’ll have to pay for a certified rapid test for the return trip (US entry requirements) which will run about CAD $50-100 depending on the provider.

If the OP gets a positive PCR result tomorrow (which I assume they will) and can get a doctor or medical professional to provide a "documentation of recovery" letter, they won't actually have to get a test to return to the US by air either -- the US allows you to substitute a positive test (PCR or antigen, as long as it's not completely self-administered with no supervision) + documentation of recovery for 90 days following the positive test result.
posted by andrewesque at 3:52 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Best answer: If it were me, I'd make sure to have a negative rapid test result before going, just in case of lingering infection. A lot of the guidance you read nowadays is more about "getting back to normal" than it is about actually preventing the spread of COVID, so if you care about the latter, it's best to act a little on the cautious side, IMO.
posted by panic at 4:43 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: OP here: I have a PCR scheduled on the 27th anyways, for a procedure I have scheduled on the 31st of May.

Hopefully then, I will be negative! And yeah - even when I go to Canada, I'm planning on social distancing whenever possible, and at this outside concert? I'm gonna chill in the back.
posted by spinifex23 at 4:58 PM on May 16


FYI Mask wearing is probably less than 10% in BC generally however I (a white looking middle age male) wear them in public 100% and haven't been hassled for doing so anywhere or seen anyone else being hassled. Highest participation rates seem to be amongst retirees and retail service workers. If you have lingering doubts about being infectious wearing a mask will significantly reduce that risk. You'll need a mask in the airport anyways if you are flying as they are still required in security areas.
posted by Mitheral at 6:05 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: I was able to go to Canada with no problem! And yeah - the mask wearing was nearly nil. But, I also wore mine around, and didn't get glares!
posted by spinifex23 at 9:50 AM on June 21


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