Testing and Results

Provincial Testing Strategy

Protecting Ontarians Through Enhanced Testing

1. Assessment Centre Testing  |  2. Targeted Testing Campaigns  |  3. Outbreak Management

Go to information about: Checking results on the online portal 

1. Assessment Centre Testing: Expanding who gets tested.

  • No referral is needed.
  • Bring your health card with you (if you have one). It is OK if it is expired. Presenting your health card allows you to:
    • Check your test results online. Public Health only calls those who test positive.
    • Be treated or prescribed medication for other respiratory conditions if needed and if this option is available at your assessment centre.
    • Move through the testing process quicker.
  • You may go to any assessment centre to be tested. Do not go to a Public Health office, we do not provide testing.
  • You will receive further instruction from the clinician at the assessment centre based on your individual assessment.
  • Be prepared for increased wait times at the assessment centres.

Testing is available for the following populations:

  • Asymptomatic, risk-based testing:
    • ​People who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19. This includes people who are contacts of or may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case.
    • People who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment, including essential workers (e.g., health care workers, grocery store employees, food processing plants).
  • Symptomatic testing: All people with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even for mild symptoms. Please go to an assessment centre if you have at least one of the following symptoms:
    • fever 
    • new onset of cough 
    • difficulty breathing
    • chills
    • fatigue, malaise, myalgia (muscle aches)
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • runny, stuffy or congested nose
    • lost sense of smell or taste
    • pink eye
    • difficulty swallowing
    • digestive issues (nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain) or
    • for young children and infants:
      • sluggishness or lack of appetite
      • multisystem inflammatory vasculitis
  • Visitor requirements to resume INDOOR visits in long-term care

2. Targeted Testing Campaigns

  • Ontario will be conducting testing to quickly detect outbreaks and actively monitor the spread among priority populations within hospitals, long-term care homes, group homes, shelters, emergency child care centres and other shared living spaces, as well as places where people are housed closely together. This will also include testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic frontline staff in long-term care and retirement homes, as well as hospitals experiencing outbreaks.
  • Ontario will also work with higher-risk sectors, including first responders, home care workers, essential workers and other workplaces that are gradually reopening to design and implement expanded testing to ensure we protect workers and contain the spread of COVID-19. 

3. Outbreak Management

  • In response to an outbreak in a specific neighbourhood, region or institution such as hospitals, long-term care homes and educational settings, as well as workplaces, the province will rapidly deploy agile testing resources, such as mobile testing units, to contain any spread and protect communities across Ontario. 

Do I need OHIP coverage to get COVID-19 health care services?

  • As of March 19, 2020, the Ontario government is waiving the three-month waiting period for OHIP coverage. If you do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage and are uninsured, the province will fund the cost of COVID-19 services.
  • If your health card is currently expired or expiring soon, you do not need to renew to receive access to health services.

Where to get tested

  • Testing is done at an Assessment Centre. Public Health does not do testing. Visit the Assessment Centres in WDG for hours and locations.

After you are tested

  • Test results are usually available within 2-5 days, but it may take longer.
  • Continue to self-isolate (if symptomatic) or self-monitor (if you are not experiencing symptoms) while you are waiting for test results.

Check your test results online

  • The Ontario government has launched an online COVID-19 Test Result Viewer. This offers fast and secure access to test results on your computer or mobile device. NOTE: Online test results are only available to those with an Ontario photo (green) health card.
  • If you receive a positive result via the online COVID-19 Test Result Viewer, you will have the option to report your information to Public Health through Contact +. Contact + is a voluntary, web-based service for positive results received via the COVID-19 Test Result Viewer. It does not replace the call you get from Public Health. Contact + allows you to confirm your contact details as well as review and answer the questions that Public Health will ask you, in advance of your call. You may add this information for up to 48 hours after your positive test result is reported.

Why Use Contact +?

The information you provide will allow Public Health to:

  • Quickly locate your contact information
  • Speed up the call wait times (for you and others)
  • Track and alert anyone you have been in close contact with
  • Better track your symptoms and monitor your progress

What Information Will I Be Asked For?

Contact + displays the information that is already in Ministry of Health records. It then asks you to provide:

  • Your contact information
  • Where you work
  • Risk of exposure
  • Current symptoms
  • Places you have recently been
  • Anyone you have been in close contact with

Is Contact + mandatory?

  • No. Contact + is completely voluntary, but the more information you provide, the more it helps Public Health track COVID-19 cases and reduce community transmission in Ontario. If you choose to add your information in advance of your call with Public Health, some sections (like your contact information) are mandatory, but most are voluntary.

Call from Public Health

  • If you have a positive COVID-19 test result, you will receive a call from a Public Health Nurse. The nurse will provide you with guidance about your test result.
  • On June 15, 2020, the Ontario government announced that socio-demographic information will be collected from every Ontario resident who tests positive for COVID-19, or who is a probable case.
  • Starting Monday, July 20, if you test positive or are a probable case of COVID-19, when you receive a call from Public Health, the nurse will ask questions about income, race, language and household size, in addition to providing you with your test result and guidance.
  • Collecting this information will help us monitor and understand who is more likely to get sick and have poorer health outcomes during COVID-19. This information will also help us put services and supports where they are needed most and work on addressing the inequities that lead to increased risk.
  • Your Public Health Nurse can answer any questions you may have about the collection of this data.

Checking COVID-19 lab test results on the online portal

Are you having trouble with logging onto the online portal Covid-19.ontario.ca?

Here are a few tips to try:

  • Keep checking! It can take 2 to 10 days for your result to be available on the online portal.
  • Try closing and reopening your internet browser or use a different internet browser, like Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Safari (some internet browsers are outdated and do not support the online portal).
  • Use your full name and your postal code as it is shown on your health card. Where it says, ‘patient first name’, add your first name and middle names(s) as it is shown on your health card. 
    • If you recently changed your name, try using your former first or last name.
    • If you recently moved, try your former address and postal code.
  • Disconnect your corporate network or virtual private network (VPN) on your computer (most often, these are used on work computers)

Why am I not able to log onto the online portal?

  • You do not have an Ontario health card
  • Your Ontario health card does not have a photo because it is an older, Red and White version or you are under the age of 16
  • Your Ontario health card is expired
  • You did not provide your Ontario photo health card at the Assessment Centre or locations where you were tested
  • Your personal information was uploaded incorrectly onto the online portal when your result was entered (for example, wrong spelling of your name or wrong birthdate)
  • You do not have a fixed address

What are my options to receive my tests results if I cannot log onto the online portal?

  • We encourage you to contact your Primary Care Provider
  • If you do not have a Primary Care Provider and it has been 7 days since you were tested, contact Public Health’s COVID-19 Call Centre at 519-822-2715 ext. 7006 if you live in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph area.
  • If you live outside of the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph area, contact your local health unit