How to get tested for COVID-19 in Ontario during the fourth wave

TORONTO — Testing infrastructure in Ontario has been adapting to meet people’s needs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now, amid a fourth wave, it’s as important as ever.

CTV News Toronto has compiled a list of how you can get a COVID-19 test in Ontario.

PUBLIC ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING

How does it work?

  • Asymptomatic people can get this test for free at select pharmacy locations if they are eligible.
  • Those eligible can fill out a screen request form on the pharmacy’s website to get an appointment for the free test or they can contact a pharmacy over the phone.
  • The province has a database of all asymptotic testing locations on their website.

Whos eligible?

  • People who are working, living in, or visiting a long-term care home, homeless shelter or retirement home.
  • International students who have completed their 14-day quarantine, farmworkers and Indigenous peoples.
  • Youth and staff who plan to attend overnight summer camps in 2021, people travelling into remote Indigenous communities for work and children and staff at child care settings.

When do results come back?

  • Most results are ready 24 to 48 hours after the test. The wait time for the results may be longer or shorter.

COVID-19 ASSESSMENT CENTRE TESTING

How does it work?

  • Ontario residents can be tested for the novel coronavirus for free at any provincial assessment centre.
  • Information about how to book an appointment and find an assessment centre is available on the province’s website.

Who’s eligible?

  • People with any COVID-19 symptoms and those who have been exposed to the disease can get a test done at any provincial assessment centre.
  • Workers, residents and visitors at long-term care homes and other congregate settings.
  • Farmworkers, Indigenous peoples, staff in child care settings and those in need of testing for surgery or for other medical reasons.

When do results come back?

  • Most results are ready 24 to 48 hours after the test. The wait time for the results may be longer or shorter.

Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Tests

How does it work?

  • Select pharmacies offer rapid COVID-19 antigen tests. People can visit Shoppers Drug Mart’s website to find locations offering the screening and can phone to book an appointment.
  • The test costs $40.
  • The pharmacy advises that rapid COVID-19 antigen tests are not used to officially diagnose COVID-19, so it’s different from a COVID-19 test.
  • A rapid COVID-19 antigen screen may identify the presence of antigens in a person’s body, and the results come within minutes. This may indicate that a person may have an active COVID-19 infection, but a follow-up COVID-19 PCR test is needed to confirm a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Who’s eligible?

  • People who are asymptomatic, who have not recently been exposed to a person with COVID-19 and who have not travelled recently outside of Canada.
  • People who have not previously tested positive for COVID-19.
  • People who have not recently been advised to get tested by the COVID-19 app.

When do results come back?

  • The results typically come back in 15 to 20 minutes.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL COVID-19 TESTING

How does it work?

  • At a number of pharmacies, including Shoppers Drug Mart, COVID-19 testing is available at select locations for asymptomatic individuals who require a negative COVID-19 test for an upcoming international flight.
  • The cost for the test is typically around $200. Most pharmacies allow people to book the test through their website or by phone.

Who’s eligible?

  • You must have an upcoming international flight and can provide flight details as confirmation.
  • You must not have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 recently, you must be asymptotic, and you must not have travelled outside the country in the past 14 days.
  • You must also not have tested positive for COVID-19 previously and must not have been advised to be tested through the COVID-19 exposure app.

When do results come back?

  • Results will typically be available within 48 hours.

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