COVID-19 Testing Information

 (September 20, 2020) Note: Today’s drive-thru COVID-19 mobile testing site at the Canadian Tire Centre is a collaborative effort by Queensway Carleton Hospital, Ontario Health, the Ottawa Senators and paramedics from across Eastern Ontario. The mobile testing centre is open today from 9 am to 6 pm. For more information, please visit the Ottawa Senators website.

Last revised - September 20, 2020

On this page:

Testing criteria and recommendations

COVID-19 Care Clinics

COVID-19 Assessment Centre

COVID-19 Drive-thru Assessment Centre

Frequently asked questions

Testing criteria and recommendations

If you are in distress (e.g., significant trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting, or have a significant worsening of any chronic disease symptoms), do not go to the Assessment Centre or a COVID-19 Care Clinic. Go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please continue to self-isolate, follow the self-isolation instructions, and do not leave your place of isolation unless it is to go for testing or to seek medical care.

COVID-19 symptoms

Type Symptoms
Classic symptoms feeling feverish, new or worsening cough and/or difficulty breathing.
Other symptoms

sore throat, difficulty swallowing, new olfactory (smell) or taste disorder(s), nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pneumonia, runny nose*, or nasal congestion.*

 

*In the absence of underlying reason for these symptoms such as seasonal allergies and post-nasal drip.
Less common symptoms unexplained fatigue/malaise (feeling ill) /myalgias (muscle aches), delirium (acutely altered mental status and inattention), unexplained or increased number of falls, acute functional decline, exacerbation of chronic conditions, chills, headaches, conjunctivitis (red, inflamed eyes), croup (barking cough), or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (some of the symptoms associated with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children include persistent fever, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as rash); an infected infant could also have trouble feeding.
Asymptomatic No signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

Recommendations for testing include:

  • Symptomatic persons:

    • Anyone showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19

  • Asymptomatic (not showing symptoms) persons with close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 positive case:
    • No earlier than 5 days after initial close contact* with a confirmed case
    • Timing of testing is important as a person may be incubating (the time it takes for the disease to develop) and COVID-19 may not show on the test result if tested too early.
    • Even if after waiting 5 days to be tested the result is negative, it remains important to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days from exposure to the confirmed case. You will be helping to protect others because COVID-19 can develop up to 14 days after exposure even if you receive a negative test result.

NOTE:  Testing is recommended right away anytime a close contact* develops symptoms. Do not wait 5 days to be tested if you develop symptoms and are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.

*A close contact is someone with a high-risk exposure to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.

Use the self-assessment tool to help determine how to seek further care.

  • Only the individuals in a family who have symptoms or have been identified as a close contact or exposed to COVID-19, need to come for initial testing. If they are found to be positive then their household and family contacts need to be tested 5 days later.
  • Visiting elderly or ill family members:
  • Testing is no longer required prior to visiting outdoors with residents of Retirement Homes or Long-Term Care Facilities; maintain physical distancing and consider wearing a mask even though it is outdoors
  • Testing is not required for visiting elderly or ill family members at their own homes; maintain physical distancing and wear a mask

It is important to note that testing does not prevent individuals from contracting the virus or becoming infectious between the time they are tested and when visiting their loved ones. Testing also does not tell you if you were already infected at the time of the test but were still incubating and not shedding enough virus for the test to detect.

Beat the Heat - Bring water, sunscreen, an umbrella and a chair when going for testing

Note: Certain populations will be tested at their location including:

  • Residents and staff in long-term care homes, retirement homes, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, mental health institutions, hospices, emergency day care centres, and other congregate living settings. Staff of these settings should consult with their Occupational Health representative for clarification.
  • Members of remote, isolated, rural, and/or indigenous communities.
  • Hospitalized individuals.

If an Ottawa resident thinks they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, even if they are not showing symptoms, they can go for testing at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre or Covid-19 Care Clinics. People will be moved up in line only if they are showing signs of illness or weakness.

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COVID-19 Care Clinics

The COVID-19 Care Clinics are out-of-hospital clinics where people will be assessed by a healthcare provider, tested, and treated for respiratory illness, if required. The clinics are run by local hospitals in partnership with the City of Ottawa, primary care physicians, community pediatricians, the regional COVID-19 planning team and Ottawa Public Health. They are equipped to do basic diagnostic tests, such as chest X-rays and lab tests.   The Care Clinic will help people get treatment they require for respiratory illness, while helping keep Emergency Departments available for other emergencies.

You should come to the COVID-19 Care Clinics if:

  • You have escalating symptoms of respiratory illness, including a fever or worsening cough and flu-like symptoms, and
  • Are in need of medical attention

Location and hours:

COVID-19 Care Clinic – Moodie Location
595 Moodie Drive
Monday to Friday, 9 am to 3:30 pm

Note: The easiest way to access the West COVID Care Clinic is to access Moodie Drive from Hunt Club.  The alternative is to use Old Richmond Rd and then turn on to Arnold Drive to access Moodie Drive.

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COVID-19 Care Clinic – Heron Location
1485 Heron Road
Monday to Friday, 9 am to 3:30 pm

Note: The clinic is located on the corner of Heron and Baycrest, in the same compound as the Federal Study Centre

 

COVID-19 Assessment Centre

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre is an out-of-hospital clinic where people will be assessed by a health-care provider and tested for COVID-19 if required. It is operated by The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) and CHEO, in partnership with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the City of Ottawa.

Important: You do NOT need to contact Ottawa Public Health before going to an assessment centre.

Location and hours:

Brewer Park Arena
151 Brewer Way 
Open 8:30 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week

Note: Accessed from Bronson Avenue opposite Carleton University. Parking is available at the Brewer Park Arena. Overflow parking is also available on the south side of the Brewer Park baseball diamonds and in parking lot P5 at Carleton University where fees have been temporarily waived (see map below). Parking on neighbourhood streets may result in ticketing.

A map of the parking and location for the COVID assessment centre at Brewer park. Parking is available at the Brewer Park Arena. Overflow parking is also available on the south side of the Brewer Park baseball diamonds and in parking lot 5 at Carleton University where fees have been temporarily waived. Parking on neighbourhood streets may result in ticketing.

 

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Note: For Inuit wishing to access COVID-19 assessment and testing, please contact Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team for an appointment. Services offered in Inuktitut and English.

Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team (AIFHT) 
24 Selkirk Street, Suite 300
Telephone: 613-740-0999
Open 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday

The Champlain COVID-19 Response Committee (CCRC) and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) are working together to implement the Ontario Ministry of Health’s policies on testing priorities across Ottawa.

The CCRC staffs, operates and manages the Assessment Centre at Brewer Park Arena and the two (2) COVID-19 Care Clinics (Moodie and Heron locations) through local hospitals.

Protecting Ontarians through Enhanced Testing outlines the Province’s testing plan. Questions related to this provincial strategy can be submitted through an online form.

For more details about the services provided and what to expect/prepare for, see below:

  • These facilities are experiencing a significant increase in volume, resulting in longer wait times.
  • Depending on the time of day, the wait could be 2 – 4 hours.
  • Expect to wait outdoors for a period of time: consider bringing water, sunscreen, and a chair or umbrella if needed to help you beat the heat.
  • You will be asked to wear a face mask and physically distance, both in line and within the testing facility.
  • Staff and physicians regularly walk the line and check for vulnerable patients and may move them forward to prioritize their visit.
  • Swabbing results are usually available from the laboratory within an average of 1-2 days, however, it could extend as long as 3 – 5 days due to circumstances beyond our control. You will be given a link to go online to check your results and will receive a phone call if you test positive.
  • Children over 6 months of age can be assessed and tested for COVID-19 at The Assessment Centre . Children under 6 months of age need to be taken to CHEO. Children over 2 years of age can be assessed and tested at the Care Clinics. 

Resources

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COVID-19 Drive-thru Assessment Centre

The COVID-19 drive-thru Assessment Centre on Coventry Rd. is an out-of-hospital testing site where people with pre-booked appointments can get tested by a health-care provider from their cars. It is operated by The Ottawa Hospital, in partnership with Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa.

The Drive-thru Assessment Centre on Coventry Rd. is available by appointment only.

Please read the following important information before booking your appointment 

Important information about booking an appointment:

  • This is a drive-through location. You must have a vehicle to attend your appointment.
  • Walk-ins will not be accepted. An appointment must be booked in advance.
  • Please ensure the information you are providing is correct before booking your appointment.
  • Minors under the age of 14 will not be tested at this location.
  •  Each individual in the vehicle must book an appointment on the same day using their own personal information for their appointment slot. A maximum of four people per vehicle can be tested.
  • Vehicles must be no taller than 7.5 feet to fit in the covered testing area.

Important information about attending your appointment:

  • Ensure vehicles are turned off when directed to do so by health care providers.
  • The drive-through testing site on Coventry Rd. is available by appointment only. If you do not have an appointment, you will be directed to another testing centre.
  • Please ensure all members in the vehicle being tested bring and produce an Ontario health card on request. If you do not have a valid health card, you will be directed to another testing centre.
  • All passengers must wear a mask.
  • Please show up as close as possible to your scheduled appointment time.
  • All passengers must remain in the vehicle at all times.
  • Inappropriate language or behaviour will not be tolerated and will result in declined testing.
  • Please drive with extra caution and follow all posted signage while attending your appointment. The safety of you, and the health care providers, is our highest priority.
  • For the safety of our patients and staff, no motorcycles, scooters or bicycles will be permitted.

Book your appointment 

* The Ottawa Hospital manages the online appointment booking system and the above booking form. If you have difficulties accessing the form please email: testinginquiries@toh.ca 

Frequently asked questions about the Drive-thru Assessment Centre

How does the COVID-19 Drive-thru Assessment Centre work?
Patients will remain in their vehicle for the duration of their testing. Patients with appointments will be directed to drive to a testing area, where a test will be administered. The assessment centre includes signage and security personnel to direct patients to the appropriate waiting and testing areas. 
Do I need to book an appointment?
Yes, you will need to book an appointment for testing at the COVID-19 Drive-thru Assessment Centre.

Do I need to be referred by my family physician?

No, you do not need a referral for this test. 

How do I book an appointment?
Book an appointment for testing at the COVID-19 Drive-thru Assessment Centre.
Is the centre accessible?

The entire process will take place from your car, so you will not need to exit your vehicle for testing. 

Can I walk in for testing?
The COVID-19 Drive-thru Assessment Centre will only be accessible by car. If you do not have a vehicle or valid OHIP card, you can visit one of the three other assessment centres in Ottawa or follow Ottawa Public Health on Twitter or Facebook for information on mobile clinics.
How many people can I bring in my car?

A maximum of four people per vehicle can be tested. All those being tested must have an appointment on the same day. 

What if the people in my car have different appointment times? 

Up to four people per car can be tested, provided they all have appointments on the same day. Please show up for the earliest appointment and all will be tested then.
Can I bring other people in my car if I’m the only one getting tested?
If you are symptomatic, it is best to limit your contact with others. You are encouraged to attend the appointment by yourself or only with those who are also getting tested.
What do I need to bring with me?

Please bring a valid OHIP card, email confirmation of your appointment, and anything else that you might need while you wait to be tested.

Can children be tested?
Minors under the age of 14 will not be tested at this location. Children over six months can be tested and assessed for COVID-19 at either an assessment centre or a care clinic. Children under six months of age need to be taken to CHEO. 
How will I access my results?
Negative test results will be made available through the provincial COVID-19 Test Results site using your valid OHIP card. If you receive a positive result, OPH will notify you by calling the phone number provided when you registered for your appointment.  
Do I need to wear a mask?
The safety of all patients, their loved ones, staff and physicians is our highest priority. Patients visiting the COVID-19 Drive-through Assessment Centre in their car will be asked to wear a mask when interacted with health care providers and during testing. 
Can I still be tested if I’m late to my appointment? 

Assessment centre staff will do their best to accommodate everyone with a pre-booked appointment. If you are late to your appointment, there is no guarantee that you will be tested.

How long will it take to get tested once I arrive for my appointment? 
Once you arrive for your appointment, you will be tested within 30 minutes. There may be delays due to unforeseen circumstances.
When should I plan to arrive for my appointment?
 Please plan to arrive at the time of your appointment.
Please plan to arrive at the time of your appointment.

Security and signage will be onsite to help regulate the flow of cars and minimize and traffic congestion. Vehicles must access the centre from eastbound on Coventry Road. 

Can I book an appointment at the drive-through assessment centre over the phone or via email? 

No. All appointments for the drive-through assessment centre must be booked through the online booking system on Ottawa Public Health’s website.

There aren’t any appointments available online. How do I book an appointment to be tested?

Appointments are released two days in advance. If there aren’t any available when you’re looking online, check back the following day when more appointments have been released.

If you would like to be tested immediately, please visit one of the other three assessment centres in Ottawa. 

I booked an appointment but didn’t receive a confirmation email or number. How do I know if my appointment went through?

If you have not received a confirmation email or number, your booking was not successfully completed. Please exit the page and try again.

Location and hours:

COVID-19 Drive-thru Assessment Centre
300 Coventry Rd, Ottawa

Open 11:30 am to 6:30 pm, 7 days a week.

The Drive-thru Assessment Centre on Coventry Rd. is available by appointment only

 

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Frequently asked questions 

Who can go to the COVID-19 Care Clinics or Assessment Centre?

If an Ottawa resident thinks they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, even if they are not showing symptoms, they can go for testing at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre or Covid-19 Care Clinics. People will be moved up in line only if they are showing signs of illness, weakness, or are with children.

Anyone in need of medical care for escalating symptoms of respiratory illness – cough, fever and cold-like symptoms should come to one of the Care clinics. This includes children 2 years and over.

If your symptoms are serious or you are in distress (e.g. significant trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting, or have a significant worsening of any chronic disease symptoms), go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 911.

 I have questions or concerns regarding testing in Ottawa, who should I contact?
In Ottawa, the Champlain COVID-19 Response Committee (CCRC) staffs, operates and manages the Assessment Centre and the two (2) COVID-19 Care Clinics with local hospitals. CCRC is also responsible for organizing and administering testing priorities for the region.   Should you have questions or comments regarding testing policies or procedures at the sites, professional conduct of staff at the sites, the type of tests administered, availability of test results, hours of operation, maintenance, line management/volume, or any other aspect of the testing sites, please contact testinginquiries@toh.ca
 What role does OPH play in testing?
OPH investigates confirmed COVID-19 cases and ensures that those who need testing are able to access it through healthcare partners. 
Are the clinics accessible to people in wheelchairs?
The COVID-19 Care Clinic – Ottawa West is wheelchair accessible. 
Do I need to be referred by Public Health or a Physician? Do I need an appointment?

No, you do not. If you are in need of urgent care, please go directly to the nearest Emergency Department. 

I require a COVID-19 PCR test in order to travel, when will I get my results?
  • It is recommended that residents travelling allow an appropriate amount of time for COVID-19 test results that may impact their travel requirements.
  • It can take between 2 and 5 days for results to be obtained. All COVID-19 testing done under the authority of Public Health Ontario use PCR based testing.
Is there a way to fast-track my results if I need them for travel or a family emergency?
We understand the stress this situation has likely caused. It is recommended that residents travelling allow an appropriate amount of time for COVID-19 test results that may impact their travel requirements. Labs process results as quickly as possible as they are received. It can take between 2 and 5 days for results to be obtained. 
Can I come to the Centres if I’m not from Ontario? 
The Assessment Centre is accepting out-of-province residents. However, please follow instructions from your local health authority. Learn more about COVID-19 testing information for residents of the Outaouais
What do I need to bring with me?
Please bring your health card, a list of your current medications, a mask, and consider bringing water, sunscreen, and a chair or umbrella if needed to help you beat the heat while you wait to be assessed. Wait times will depend on volume and may be several hours.  
Do I need to pay for the visit?
There is no cost to you. Please bring evidence of your health coverage, such as your OHIP card.
How can I get there?
The best way to get there is to use your own transportation with no unnecessary passengers. If this is not possible, you should be taking a method of transport that minimizes your exposure to other people such as a taxi or rideshare. You should be sitting in the rear seat passenger (right) side, wear a mask, ensure the window is down and take note of the transportation information (e.g., taxi number, date & time). 
What will happen when I get there?
  • You will likely have to wait in line. Please be sure to stand 2 meters (6 feet) away from the person in front of you, wear a mask and cough into your sleeve, if needed. Once inside, everyone will be asked to sanitize their hands.
  • At the Care Clinics, you will be assessed by a nurse initially, and then have a seat in a waiting area.  When it is your turn, a physician and nurse will assess your condition, proceed to a test if needed, and either provide treatment or recommend treatments at home.  Some patients may be given an x-ray or other basic diagnostic tests.  More advanced testing would require a hospital visit.
  • When you arrive at the Assessment Centre, you will be screened for travel and contact history and symptoms upon arrival.
  • You will be assessed by a health care provider and tested for COVID-19 if required.
  • The test involves taking a sample from the back of the nasal cavity and throat with a swab.
  • Your health-care provider and Ottawa Public Health will follow up with those who test positive with results and further instruction will be provided.
Am I allowed to bring someone to keep me company?
To be able to ensure everyone’s safety, no visitors are allowed with the client unless for compassionate reasons.
Can my child be assessed at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre or Care Clinics ?

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre will have pediatric health-care providers from CHEO who can assess and test both children older than six months and adults. Do not bring your child if they are well and do not need to be screened.

  • Important: Children under six months should go to CHEO

The Care Clinics can treat children over the age of 2 years. Children under the age of 2 years who are in need of medical treatment for escalating symptoms of respiratory illness should be taken to CHEO.

Should I come in if I am older or have a suppressed immune system?
If you meet the criteria for treatment or testing at the COVID-19 Care Clinics or Assessment Centre as noted above, you should come. Everyone will sanitize their hands and put on a mask immediately on arriving at the Clinic or Assessment Centre. 
How do you keep people safe?
  • Areas for assessment and treatment will be kept separate to reduce the risk of spreading infection.
  • The same cleaning protocols as hospitals are used.  Everyone will be asked to wear a mask in line and sanitize their hands once inside.  
  • Chairs in waiting areas will be appropriately separated.  Please also be mindful to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands. 
  • Please be sure to keep two meters (6 feet) distance between you and other people, and to cough/sneeze into your sleeve. 
How will I get my test results?
Your test results for COVID-19 (and only this test) will be available at covid-19.ontario.ca. You will need to provide information such as your Ontario Health Card Number, your name, and date of birth, in order to access your results online.  On average, it takes approximately 24-72 hours to receive test results for COVID-19 depending on demand.  Please continue to self-isolate while awaiting test results if you have symptoms or have been in contact with a confirmed case. 
Will my results be confidential?
Yes. Your personal health information is protected under Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). Positive results are reported confidentially by the lab to Ottawa Public Health.
  • The following information will be reported on The Ministry of Health of Ontario’s website.
    •  Patient age and gender
    • Public Health Unit
    • Hospital involved
    • Type of transmission
    • Status (eg. Home isolation  
I am a primary care physician, should I direct patients to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre ?
Yes. If you have a patient who meets the criteria for attending the COVID-19 Assessment Centre (new or worsening cough and/or fever, recent travel history, contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19), and you are unable to assess or test them in your clinic, please direct that patient to the Assessment Centre.

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