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Assessment, Testing and Results

The following individuals/populations remain eligible for free lab-based PCR testing at provincial testing centres:

  • Individuals with any symptom of COVID-19 that is new, worsening or different from an individual’s baseline health status (usual state), and is listed in the current Reference Document for Symptoms, i.e., fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath, new olfactory or taste disorder, fatigue/lethargy/malaise, myalgia, nausea/vomiting diarrhea, sore throat, rhinorrhea (runny nose).
  • High-risk/close contacts of a confirmed case who are asymptomatic should undergo PCR testing at a designated testing centre as soon as possible and on or after day 7 of their last exposure or notification from the COVID Alert app (regardless of vaccination status and requirement to self-isolate).
  • Individuals in the context of an outbreak should follow as directed by the local public health unit.

Testing will not be provided to individuals seeking ‘clearance’ for travel or attending sports/entertainment venues and events.

More information about testing requirements can be found here:

Provincial vaccine policies (e.g., Directive #6) require individuals in certain high-risk settings to undertake regular antigen testing if they do not provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Your workplace may have access to free rapid antigen test kits, or you can check here for pharmacy testing locations. For information on when you should go to an assessment or testing centre instead of a pharmacy, see this resource on COVID-19 Testing: Where and When to Get Tested.

If you are being asked by your employer to be tested but you are not an organization covered by current ministry requirements, you can find a testing site here.

Can be tested at a local assessment or testing centre or you can check here for the list of participating pharmacies and further guidance. For information on when you should go to an assessment or testing centre instead of a pharmacy, see this resource on COVID-19 Testing: Where and When to Get Tested.

Where to Get Tested

Large volumes of calls can overwhelm the centres’ phone systems. If you can’t get through, keep trying, and if you do not get a call back the following day – please try again.

*Assessment Centre hours may change on holidays

  • 100 Magedoma Boulevard, Brockville, Ontario
  • Medical Assessment available
  • Hours:
    • Monday to Friday, 10:00am–5:00pm; closed 12:30pm–1:00pm 
    • Saturday and Sunday, 10:00am–2:00pm; closed 12:30pm–1:00pm
  • Booking:
    • ONLINE: Brockville COVID-19 Assessment Centre Online Booking
    • CALL: 613-704-1441
      • If no appointments are available for the time and date that you would prefer on the first schedule that you select, go back and select the next schedule to view other available appointments.
    • To cancel an appointment that was booked online using the online portal, please call the booking line during regular hours at 613-704-1441 and press 2.
    • If you have mobility issues, please call 1-800-660-5853 for a referral to EMS to have an in home swab done.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment time and follow signs to register before parking your vehicle.

  • Smiths Falls Site of the Perth Smiths Falls Hospital (Main Entrance – on Elmsley Street North)
  • Hours:
    • Monday–Friday: 9:00am–2:00pm
    • Saturday: Closed
    • Sunday: 8:00am–12:00pm
  • Booking:
    • Phone: 613-283-2330 extension 1401 to schedule an appointment. Phone lines are open 7 days a week from 8:00am–6:00pm
  • Almonte General Hospital, 75 Spring Street. Testing is done in the Octagon Room; follow signage upon arrival.
  • Tests provided to those who are eligible – no one under the age of 2 can be tested at this site.
  • Hours:
    • Monday to Friday: 8:00am–4:00pm
    • Saturday and Sunday: 10:00am–4:00pm
  • Booking:
    • Phone: (613) 325-1208 to schedule an appointment. Phone lines are open 7 days a week from 8:00am–3:30pm
  • Bell Hall at 15 Campus Drive on Kemptville Campus
  • Hours: 
    • Monday to Friday: 9:00am–5:00pm,
    • Saturday: Closed
    • Sunday: 9:00am–1:00pm
  • Booking:
    • CALL: 613-258-3192

The Ministry of Health has a listing all of the assessment centres on their website for people to find assessment centres in any area. You do not need your Health Card to get tested but you need to use it for reference if you want to get your results online.

Testing

COVID-19 testing is recommended for:

  1. All people with at least one symptom of COVID-19 (regardless of vaccination status), provided that symptom is not from an existing condition (i.e., allergies). Please see the list of symptoms on the assessment tool.
    ALL household members of individuals with new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 are required to self-isolate until the individual with symptoms receives a negative COVID-19 test result or an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional unless household members are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms.
  2. People who have been informed that they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive to COVID-19. You will be alerted that you are a close contact by Public Health or through the COVID Alert App.
    • *Household members of a high-risk contact will be asked to stay home for the duration of the high-risk contact’s self-isolation period, except for essential reasons unless household members are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms. Essential reasons include attending work/school/childcare and essential errands such as groceries, attending medical appointments or picking up prescriptions.
  3. Those following Public Health or Ministry of Health and Long Term Care guidance for targeted testing. This includes people in high-risk settings such as workers, residents and visitors to Long Term Care homes, homeless shelters or other vulnerable congregate living settings.
  4. Those needing to confirm the results of rapid testing.

    *Asymptomatic people who do not meet the above criteria (including COVID-19 testing for travel purposes) will not be tested. See the new testing guidelines here. For more information on travel requirements and testing see Travelling during COVID-19 section on our main COVID-19 page.

See the information above on this page for local testing and assessment centre hours, locations and booking instructions.

The Ministry of Health has a listing all of the assessment centres on their website for people to find assessment centres in any area. You do not need your Health Card to get tested but you need to use it for reference if you want to get your results online. Hours may change for statutory holidays.

If you do not have transportation for your test, contact the Health Unit at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2222.

An antibody test is a blood test that detects whether the body has developed antibodies to a virus. The body takes two to four weeks to develop antibodies so it indicates past infection not current infection. Antibodies may last a lifetime (e.g., measles) or a short time (e.g., rhinovirus – cold). Currently, we do don’t know if having COVID-19 antibodies protects against re-infection, or how long the antibodies last. The antibody test is different than the nose/throat swab test for COVID-19 that detects the presence of the virus in your nose/throat and indicates current infection.

Health Canada has recently approved an antibody test for COVID-19 to be used in very limited and specific circumstances. This test is in its early stages and has both false positive and false negative results.

Rapid antigen testing is available for asymptomatic individuals who are part of a workplace or other setting that is participating in the Provincial Antigen Screening Program. Rapid testing should be used as a screening tool only for asymptomatic individuals with no known exposures to COVID-19 and should not be used for diagnosis of acute COVID-19 infection. For more information on the COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Testing for workplaces, see that FAQ on our COVID-19 and Business page.

For individuals seeking a rapid test for personal reasons or to attend a special event/business they will need to contact a private lab to arrange for this.

Tests for the purposes of travel (required either by destination or transportation) are not available at local Assessment and Testing Centres and are not covered by Ontario Health Care. When looking for private travel testing services – be sure to confirm the timing and type of test needed. You can check with private labs, travel clinics or pharmacies to see if they offer the service. Some private services available are listed here: COVID-19 Testing for Travel – Ottawa Public Health.

Getting Your Results

Every lab is different and it also depends on the day. If a lab has less volume, the turnaround time is faster, more volume and it will take longer. Most results come back in 2–3 days, but some can take up to 7 days.

  • If you provided your health card at the time of testing, you can check your results online. You will need your health card again to access your results as there is a number on the back of the card you will need to enter.
  • If you provided your health care provider’s information at the time of testing, a copy of the results will be sent to them. You can call your health care provider to see if they have received the results or they may call you if that is part of their practice.
  • If after 7 days, you still cannot locate your results online or you cannot reach your health care provider, you can call the Health Unit at 1-800-660-5853 and we can try and track it down for you.

I have tried to get on the online portal and it isn’t working?

  • The online portal could be down. It does seem to crash sometimes. Unfortunately, if you can’t get on the portal, neither can we.

What if I don’t have internet?

  • Call your health care provider to see if they have a copy of your results. If after 7 days you still haven’t heard, contact the Health Unit at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2222.

What should I do while I wait for my results?

  • While waiting for your results you should self-isolate.
  • Exception: You do not have to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms and no known exposure to COVID-19. In this case, you should continue to monitor for symptoms and practice all public health measures as advised for the general public: limit close contacts, practice physical distancing and thorough hand hygiene, clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces, and use a cloth face covering when physical distancing is a challenge.

Please note: The Health Unit is not providing letters for return to work for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, and have been discharged by public health and deemed non-infectious. Follow the isolation instructions given and we will let you know when you are no longer contagious. When the Health Unit determines that you are no longer infectious, you can safely return to work when you feel well enough to do so.

  • While a negative COVID-19 result is good news, it is only a snapshot in time. It does not give you any guarantee that you will remain negative in the future.
  • If you were being tested only due to symptoms – you can return to work or school once you are feeling better and have been fever-free for 24 hours.
  • Continue to monitor your health, and get tested again if you experience symptoms.
  • Follow public health precautions:
    • Practice physical distancing – stay 2m (6ft) away from people in public areas
    • When you go out in public, take a cloth face covering/mask with you so you can put it on when you are potentially in close contact with other people, or where required indoors.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer after being in touch with others or handling anything from outside your home
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
    • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hands
    • Do not share personal items that come into contact with saliva such as toothbrushes, eating utensils, drinks, water bottles, and towels.
    • Get vaccinated at a local clinic or pharmacy
  • You must remain in isolation for the full 10 days since exposure regardless of a negative test result.
  • If you were tested 0–6 days after exposure, repeat testing is recommended on or after day 10. If your initial test was day 7 or later, a repeat test is not needed unless symptoms arise.
  • *NEW* Exception for those who are fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks after second dose) or individuals who tested COVID-19 positive within the last 90 days – no need to isolate as a high-risk contact unless you are experiencing symptoms yourself or have been advised to self-isolate by Public Health.
  • If you have access to the online portal, you can print a copy of your results right at home.
  • You can call your health care provider to get a copy of your results.
  • If you cannot access the online portal, call the Health Unit after 7 days and we can arrange to get you a copy.

Please note: The Health Unit is not providing letters for return to work with negative test results.

This pamphlet outlines the specifics of self-isolation.

  • It means you must ensure you have no contact with others who live outside your home and restricted contact with those in your home.
  • You can go outside in your own yard/property as long as no-one else is there.
  • You cannot walk around town in case you meet other people.
  • Defer medical and other appointments unless they are critical. Let the care provider know ahead of time that you are in self-isolation, wear a face covering/mask, and do not use public transportation.
  • Those advised to self-isolate due to testing positive for COVID-19 must continue to do so until 10 days have passed from when symptoms first appeared AND symptoms are resolving. Note that as the COVID-19 situation evolves, these recommendations for the public may be updated. If you were previously self-isolating for a defined period of time (e.g., after returning from international travel or after contact with a case of COVID-19), you would still need to complete the remaining portion of this period of self-isolation even after the above criteria are met.

Self-Isolation applies to people who:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and are either
    • being tested and awaiting results
    • or choose not to be tested and will complete the 10 day self-isolation instead.
  • Anyone who is deemed a high-risk contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. (Unless they are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms or tested COVID-19 positive themselves within the last 90 days.) The high-risk contact must isolate for 10 days from the date of last exposure regardless of a negative COVID-19 test (unless Public Health has advised that you are exempt). If you are a high-risk contact – Public Health will advise you of the recommended testing times. *Exception for high-risk contacts who are fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks after second dose) unless they are experiencing symptoms themselves.
  • Household members of someone who is displaying a symptom(s) of COVID-19. Household members of someone with a symptom of COVID-19 must isolate until a negative test result is received or an alternate diagnosis is made by a health care professional unless they are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms or they tested COVID-19 positive themselves within the last 90 days. IF the symptomatic person chooses not to get tested – they must remain in isolation until 10 days have passed from symptom onset AND they are feeling better, and their household members must remain in isolation for 10 days from their last contact with the symptomatic individual (unless fully vaccinated or tested COVID-19 positive within the last 90 days).
  • Have travelled anywhere outside of Canada (including the United States of America) for 14 days after arrival in Canada. (unless exempt from the travel restrictions)
  • Self-isolation for the above scenarios is now a legal requirement.  Individuals who fail to self-isolate can be charged and fined up to $5000.00 per day.

Households have the highest risk of transmission from a case.

  • Household members of someone who is isolating as a high-risk contact should stay at home except for essential reasons, especially while the isolating person is waiting for test results. Exception for household members who are fully vaccinated or have tested COVID-19 positive themselves in the last 90 days and have been cleared from isolation by Public Health.
  • Staying at home, except for essential reasons, includes: no non-essential visitors, no non-essential errands, exercise alone or only with people you live with, wear a mask if you need to go out for essential reasons, work from home if you can, and follow local rules about other children in the home attending school/child care.

*If you are self-isolating – please check out the Mental Wellness and Health Equity pages of our website to see what resources and supports are available. You can also call 1-800-660-5853 for further assistance.

Self-isolation: Guide for Caregivers, Household Members and Close Contacts

How to Self-Monitor