COVID-19 Testing Information

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 an assessment centre or a COVID-19 Care and Testing Clinic. Go to the nearest emergency department or call 9-1-1

Last revised - November 25, 2020

When should I go for testing?

There are four reasons to seek testing for COVID-19:

1. You are showing COVID-19 symptomsOR

2. You have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by Ottawa Public Health or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app. OR

3. You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health. OR

4. You are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care. 

Click here to learn more about the symptoms of COVID-19
 Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recommends the following individuals seek testing for COVID-19 if you are:
  • Showing one or more symptoms of COVID-19
 COVID-19 symptoms

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.


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.
  • A resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by OPH  
  • Anyone who is referred to testing by a Health Care Provider  
    • In addition to the symptoms above, Health Care Providers may also check you for atypical signs of COVID-19, which should not be explained by other known causes or conditions. These atypical signs can include: new or unusual exacerbation of chronic conditions, tachycardia (fast heart rate), low blood pressure for age, hypoxia (oxygen saturation less than 92%), difficulty feeding in infants, delirium (acutely altered mental status or inattention), increased number of falls in older persons, and acute functional decline (a sudden change in ability to function compared to baseline).  
  • Have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, as informed by OPH or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app  
    • Asymptomatic (not showing symptoms) persons who are a close contact of a person with COVID-19: 
      • Testing should be conducted no earlier than 5 days after initial close contact* with the person with COVID-19. 
      • 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 have received a negative test result. 

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

*A close contact is someone with a high-risk exposure to a person with COVID-19 (i.e., someone who tested positive for the virus). You will be notified by Ottawa Public Health if you are identified as a close contact of a person who tests positive for COVID-19.  

Where to get tested in Ottawa:

Please only book one appointment at a single site and cancel your appointment if you plan on no longer attending.

COVID-19 CHEO Assessment Centre for Infants, Children and Youth at Brewer Park Arena 

COVID-19 Care and Testing Centres- Heron, Moodie and Ray Friel locations

COVID-19 Assessment Centre for Adults at Brewer Park Arena

COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre at the National Arts Centre 

  • Ages:  14+ years old
  • Hours: Seven days a week, 10 am to 6 pm
  • Services provided: By appointment only, drive-thru testing only with a valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIPcard
  • Location: 
    • Enter at City Hall Parking Garage, Elgin St. Entrance
      • Ottawa City Hall is located at 110 Laurier Ave West, Ottawa
    • Then go to the National Arts Centre Parking Garage, Albert St. Entrance
      • The National Arts Centre is located at 1 Elgin Street, Ottawa
    • Staff will provide instructions on where to go.
  • Download factsheet: Important information about the COVID-19 Drive-thru Assessment Centre at the National Arts Centre
  • Click here to book an appointment or call 613-737-8193
    • To cancel your appointment, please email:

COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Community Centre

COVID-19 testing at three of the Ottawa Community Health Centres

  • Ages:  Testing adults and children above 6 months of age at Centretown and Sandy Hill sites. Testing adults and children aged 13 years and above at the Somerset West site. 
  • Services provided: By appointment only, testing available for those living in Ontario without a health card
  • Download factsheet: Important information about COVID-19 testing at three of the Ottawa Community Health Centres
  • Locations:
    • Centretown Community Health Centre: 
      • Location: 420 Cooper St., Ottawa (Entrance off Somerset Street West, next to 395 Somerset and across the street from the Wine Rack)  
      • Hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
      • Click here to book an appointment or call 343-553-2661
    • Sandy Hill Community Health Centre: 
    • Somerset West Community Health Centre:
      • Location:  55 Eccles St., Ottawa 
      • Hours: 
        • 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Wednesday.
        • 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Thursday. 
        • 9:00 am to 2:30 pm on Friday
      • Click here to book an appointment or call 613-327-8145

COVID-19 testing at Ontario pharmacies

If you are not showing symptoms and need a test to confirm you do not have COVID-19 before travelling internationally, you can currently make an appointment at a select pharmacy. This is an interim measure. Please visit the province's website to ensure you have current information about testing options and locations available to you.

The Ontario government announced that free COVID-19 testing will be available at select pharmacies throughout the province. Learn more about pharmacy testing.

Testing for specific populations


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

Ottawa’s Daily Testing Update

What to do after getting tested for COVID-19

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entrance off Somerset Street West, next to 395 Somerset and across the street from Wine Rack

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