COVID-19 Testing and Care Information

⚠ Ottawa's COVID-19 testing centres and care clinics will be open on the National Day of Mourning (Monday, September 19) and on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Friday, September 30).

⚠ Exposed to COVID-19 or looking for guidance? Visit our isolation instructions for COVID-19 web page. Take this screener to determine if you are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and may benefit from treatments.

There are many ways to get a COVID-19 test, get assessed by a medical professional or access antiviral treatment:

Last revised: September 20, 2022

Can I get a PCR test?

COVID-19 PCR testing is currently only available to eligible individuals, these include people living and working in the highest risk settings (like hospitals, health care settings, and congregate living) and priority groups (like First Nations, Inuit, Métis). Read the information below to see if you are eligible for a PCR test.

Who qualifies for a PCR COVID-19 test

 As per provincial testing guidance, you are eligible for PCR COVID-19 testing if you have COVID-19 symptoms and are any of the following:

  • Someone at higher-risk for severe COVID-19 who would be eligible for outpatient treatment (treatment outside hospital) following an assessment and positive test
  • a patient-facing health care worker
  • a patient in an emergency department, at the discretion of the treating clinician
  • a staff member, volunteer, resident, inpatient, essential care provider, or visitor in the highest risk settings*
  • a home and community care worker
  • a Provincial Demonstration School and hospital school worker
  • someone who lives with a patient-facing health care worker and/or a worker in the highest risk settings*
  • an outpatient being considered for COVID-19 treatment
  • an outpatient who requires a diagnostic test for clinical management
  • a temporary foreign worker living in a congregate setting
  • underhoused or experiencing homelessness
  • pregnant
  • a first responder, including firefighters, police and paramedics
  • other individuals as directed by the local public health unit based on outbreak investigations in high risk settings, etc.*

Whether you have symptoms or not, you are eligible for PCR or rapid POC molecular testing if you:

  • are an individual from a First Nation, Inuit, Métis community, and/or who self-identifies as First Nation, Inuit, and Métis and their household members
  • are an individual travelling into First Nation, Inuit, Métis communities for work
  • are being admitted or transferred to or from a hospital or congregate living setting
  • are a close contact of someone in a confirmed or suspected outbreak in a highest risk setting, or other settings as directed by the local public health unit
  • have written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager of OHIP or are a caregiver for someone who does
  • are in a hospital, long-term care, retirement home or other congregate living setting, as directed by public health units, provincial guidance or other directives

If you have symptoms but are not eligible for testing, assume you have COVID-19 and follow the steps for what to do if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

If you have symptoms and are at high risk of complications or hospitalization, please visit a care clinic for further assessment and treatment if eligible. For those eligible for treatment, it is vital that you begin COVID-19 antiviral treatment within 5 days of starting your symptoms.

* The highest-risk settings include:

  • hospitals and health care settings, including complex continuing care facilities and acute care facilities
  • congregate living settings, such as long-term care and retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, temporary foreign worker settings, correctional institutions and Provincial Demonstration Schools and hospital schools
  • home and community care settings
Book a PCR COVID-19 test

Many of these locations test children and all of them need you to make an appointment for testing. Please only book one appointment at a single site and cancel your appointment if you plan on no longer attending.

The Ottawa Hospital Clinical Assessment Centre - 1081 Carling Ave, Suite 601, Ottawa
⚠ Please note : Eligibility criteria for PCR testing at all Assessment Centres and Care Clinics has changed.  Please read:  who qualifies for PCR COVID-19 testing before booking an appointment.
  • Ages: Anyone 18+ years old
  • Hours:
    • Monday to Saturday, 8am to 4pm
  • Services provided:
    • Treatment for those with a known or suspected COVID-19 infection who:
      • Are experiencing escalating respiratory symptoms that cannot be safely managed at home
        AND
      • Cannot access their family physician, but also do not require emergency care
    • Treatment includes basic diagnostic tests such as chest x-ray, ECGs, basic bloodwork as well as referrals to IV therapy and antivirals
  • Location: Parkdale Medical Building, 1081 Carling Ave, Suite 601
  • Book an appointment:
    • By appointment only
    • Book an appointment by calling 613-798-5555 ext. 19507 (Fax Number: 613-722-7994)
East Ottawa Kids COVID Care Clinic - 4289 Innes Road, Orléans

⚠ Please note : Eligibility criteria for PCR testing at all Assessment Centres and Care Clinics has changed.  Please read: who qualifies for PCR COVID-19 testing before booking an appointment.

  • Ages: Children and youth between 2 months and 17 years old
  • Hours:
    • Monday to Friday, 5pm to 9pm
    • Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 1pm
  • Services provided:
    • COVID-19 testing for children and youth (2 months to 17 years) and other members of their household who meet the current testing criteria.
    • In-person consultation with a physician for children and youth (2 months to 17 years) with new symptoms such as fever, cough, vomiting, belly pain, earache, or sore throat.
  • Location: Ottawa Medical Group (2nd floor) 4289 Innes Road, Orléans K1E 0A8

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

To keep our communities safe, Ottawa’s assessment centres and testing sites follow all guidelines mandated by the provincial government and public health experts. Please note the information on this page is designed to guide you and your family in making a decision to book a test, it does not guarantee you will be tested on site / receive a test on site. Testing is subject to assessment by a clinician on site. All sites have professional, caring and highly trained staff to make your testing experience quick, safe and as comfortable as possible. If you think you need a test, please book an appointment and get it done today. Testing is subject to eligibility requirements, assessment centres and care clinics reserve the right to refuse a test based on their assessment of the individual’s symptoms, exposure, unique situation, and based on public health guidance.

  • Test results: If you cannot access your test results via the provincial portal, you can call 613-566-4470
COVID-19 CHEO Assessment Centre - 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa

⚠ Please note : Eligibility criteria for PCR testing at all Assessment Centres and Care Clinics has changed.  Please read: who qualifies for PCR COVID-19 testing before booking an appointment.

  • Ages:
    • For a Do-It-Yourself Test Kit, parents can test children two months of age and older. Older children and teens can test themselves with parental support. This service is not available for adults through CHEO.
  • Hours:
    • Every day, 7:30am to 8:00pm

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

To keep our communities safe, Ottawa’s assessment centres and testing sites follow all guidelines mandated by the provincial government and public health experts. Please note the information on this page is designed to guide you and your family in making a decision to book a test, it does not guarantee you will be tested on site / receive a test on site. Testing is subject to assessment by a clinician on site. All sites have professional, caring and highly trained staff to make your testing experience quick, safe and as comfortable as possible. If you think you need a test, please book an appointment and get it done today. Testing is subject to eligibility requirements, assessment centres and care clinics reserve the right to refuse a test based on their assessment of the individual’s symptoms, exposure, unique situation, and based on public health guidance.

Moodie COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre - 595 Moodie Drive, Ottawa

NEW: The Moodie COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre closed on Friday, July 15 and relocated to 2625 Draper Avenue. Book an appointment at the newly opened West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre.

West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre - 2625 Draper Avenue, Ottawa

⚠ Please note : Eligibility criteria for PCR testing at all Assessment Centres and Care Clinics has changed.  Please read:  who qualifies for PCR COVID-19 testing before booking an appointment.

 

NEW: Queensway Carleton Hospital’s new West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre is now fully open with its full suite of services for patients with respiratory illness.

  • Ages: Anyone over six months old
  • Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm
  • Services provided:
    • Swab only: For those with mild symptoms who are eligible for a COVID-19 test
    • Physician care visit: For those that have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 (with symptoms such as cough, difficulty breathing or sore throat) or those who are eligible for antiviral therapy who need to see a physician
  • Location: 2625 Draper Avenue, Ottawa
  • Book an appointment:
    • Please book an appointment before visiting the West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre
    • Book an appointment or call 613-721-4722
    • Please note telephone booking is reserved for those who do not have internet access. It is not an information line
  • Test results: 
    • Check our online Meditech Patient Portal
    • You will be required to log in to see your results
    • If you do not have an account, you can sign up for one at the time of your test
Orléans Health Hub COVID-19 Testing Centre – 2225 Mer-Bleue Road, Orléans

⚠ Please note : Eligibility criteria for PCR testing at all Assessment Centres and Care Clinics has changed.  Please read: who qualifies for PCR COVID-19 testing before booking an appointment.

  • Ages: Anyone over six months old
  • Hours: 
    • Monday to Friday: 8am to 3:30pm
  • Services provided:
    • On-site Do-It-Yourself Test Kit for individuals who meet current provincial testing criteria
  • Location: Orléans Health Hub (West Entrance)— 2225 Mer-Bleue Road, Orléans
    • Residents with scheduled appointments are advised to wait for a staff member outside the West Entrance. No access through North Entrance.
    • There are designated parking spots and an outdoor waiting area available.
    • No access to interior of building.
    • Do not eat or drink 30 minutes before your appointment.

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

To keep our communities safe, Ottawa’s assessment centres and testing sites follow all guidelines mandated by the provincial government and public health experts. Please note the information on this page is designed to guide you and your family in making a decision to book a test, it does not guarantee you will be tested on site / receive a test on site. Testing is subject to assessment by a clinician on site. All sites have professional, caring and highly trained staff to make your testing experience quick, safe and as comfortable as possible. If you think you need a test, please book an appointment and get it done today. Testing is subject to eligibility requirements, assessment centres and care clinics reserve the right to refuse a test based on their assessment of the individual’s symptoms, exposure, unique situation, and based on public health guidance.

  • Book an appointment or call 613-288-5353
    • Please note telephone booking is reserved for those who do not have internet access. It is not an information line.
Brewer Park COVID-19 Testing Centre (18+ years old) - 200 Brewer Way, Ottawa

⚠ Please note : Eligibility criteria for PCR testing at all Assessment Centres and Care Clinics has changed.  Please read: who qualifies for PCR COVID-19 testing before booking an appointment.

Following a review of testing demand and growing COVID-19 levels in the Ottawa community, Brewer will remain open indefinitely and Do-It-Yourself Test Kit pick-up and drop-off will continue Sunday through Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Any future operational changes at Brewer will be shared with the community at a later date.

  • Ages: Anyone 18+ years old
  • Hours:
    • Sunday to Friday, 8:30 am to 11:30 am and 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm (there is a one-hour lunch break from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm)
    • Saturday, CLOSED
  • Services provided:
    • Do-It-Yourself Test Kit distribution and collection by appointment only and very limited walk-up testing
  • Location: 200 Brewer Way, Ottawa

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

To keep our communities safe, Ottawa’s assessment centres and testing sites follow all guidelines mandated by the provincial government and public health experts. Please note the information on this page is designed to guide you and your family in making a decision to book a test, it does not guarantee you will be tested on site / receive a test on site. Testing is subject to assessment by a clinician on site. All sites have professional, caring and highly trained staff to make your testing experience quick, safe and as comfortable as possible. If you think you need a test, please book an appointment and get it done today. Testing is subject to eligibility requirements, assessment centres and care clinics reserve the right to refuse a test based on their assessment of the individual’s symptoms, exposure, unique situation, and based on public health guidance.

  • Book an appointment:
    • Book an appointment or call 613-737-8193 for testing at the COVID-19 assessment centre for adults at Brewer Park
    • Please note telephone booking is reserved for those who do not have internet access. It is not an information line
    • To cancel your appointment, please email: brewercancel@toh.ca
North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre - 15 Campus Drive, Kemptville

⚠ Please note : Eligibility criteria for PCR testing at all Assessment Centres and Care Clinics has changed.  Please read: who qualifies for PCR COVID-19 testing before booking an appointment.

  • Ages: Anyone over six months old
  • Hours:
    • Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm
  • Services provided: 
    • Do-It-Yourself Test Kit distribution and collection by appointment only
  • Location: 15 Campus Drive, Kemptville

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

To keep our communities safe, Ottawa’s assessment centres and testing sites follow all guidelines mandated by the provincial government and public health experts. Please note the information on this page is designed to guide you and your family in making a decision to book a test, it does not guarantee you will be tested on site / receive a test on site. Testing is subject to assessment by a clinician on site. All sites have professional, caring and highly trained staff to make your testing experience quick, safe and as comfortable as possible. If you think you need a test, please book an appointment and get it done today. Testing is subject to eligibility requirements, assessment centres and care clinics reserve the right to refuse a test based on their assessment of the individual’s symptoms, exposure, unique situation, and based on public health guidance.

  • Book an appointment:
    • Book an appointment or call 613-258-3192
    • Please note telephone booking is reserved for those who do not have internet access. It is not an information line
    • To cancel your appointment, please email: ngcac@kdh.on.ca
  • Residents who are tested in Kemptville can check their COVID-19 test result on the Ontario Health results portal at covid-19.ontario.ca
Getting tested at a pharmacy

Participating pharmacies offer various testing options to eligible individuals, including:

  • in-store lab-based PCR testing, by appointment only
  • self-collection lab-based PCR kits, with no appointment necessary. Eligible individuals will be able to pick up a lab-based PCR self-collection kit at a participating pharmacy, conduct the specimen collection at-home, and then return the collected specimen to the pharmacy to be sent for processing in a lab

Participating pharmacies can choose which of these testing options are offered at their stores and not every participating pharmacy site will offer all services.

Find a participating pharmacy

Akausivik Inuit Family Heath Team 

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 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

 

Symptoms of COVID-19

COVID-19 symptoms 

Type

Symptoms

(new or worsening, and not related to other known causes or conditions you already have)

Most common symptoms of COVID-19 

  • Fever and/or chills (Temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius/100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.)
  • Cough or barking cough (croup) (Continuous, more than usual, making a whistling noise when breathing (not related to asthma, post-infectious reactive airways, COPD).)
  • Shortness of breath (Out of breath, unable to breathe deeply (not related to asthma).)
  • Decrease or loss of taste or smell (Not related to seasonal allergies, neurological disorders.)

Other symptoms of COVID-19

 

 

  • Sore throat (Painful swallowing or difficulty swallowing (not related to seasonal allergies, acid reflux, post-nasal drip).)
  • Runny or stuffy/congested nose (Not related to seasonal allergies, being outside in cold weather, chronic sinusitis unchanged from baseline.)
  • Muscle aches/ Joint pain (That is unexplained or unusual (not related to related to a sudden injury, fibromyalgia, or receiving a COVID-19 vaccine the past 48 hours).)
  • Headache (New and persistent, unusual, unexplained, or long-lasting (not related to tension-type headaches, chronic migraines, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in the last 48 hours).)
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting/diarrhea)
  • Extreme tiredness, lack of energy or feeling unwell (That is unusual or unexpected (not related to other known causes or conditions or receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in the past 48 hours).)

What to do after getting tested for COVID-19

  • Self-isolate and follow the instructions in this COVID-19 assessment tool
  • You will get a recommendation on what to do next.
  • You can also take it on behalf of someone else.
How to access PCR COVID-19 test results
How to get to a testing site
  • Do not use public transportation
  • Use a private vehicle
  • If a private vehicle is unavailable, take a taxi/shared ride service (e.g., Uber, Lyft, etc.) while wearing a procedure/surgical mask and sitting in the rear passenger seat with the window open (weather permitting). If possible, the client should also note the taxi company name and operator number in case there is a need for contact.

I have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to be seen by a medical professional

If you, your child or someone you know has symptoms of COVID-19, you can be seen by a medical professional at a care clinic. They will assess you, test you if eligible, and offer you treatment if eligible. If you feel unwell, please visit a care clinic today for an in-person assessment. 

Who qualifies for an in-person assessment with a medical professional

As per provincial guidance, you should book an appointment at a care clinic if you know or suspect that you have COVID-19 and you:

  • Have been directed by your primary care provider or other health care professional; or
  • Are unable to safely monitor your symptoms at home; or
  • Are at higher risk for COVID-19 and need to get tested and assessed for treatment (including antiviral treatment):
    • Individuals aged 18 and over who are immunocompromised (have an immune system that is weakened by a health condition or medications);
    • Individuals aged 70 and over;
    • Individuals aged 60 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses; and
    • Individuals aged 18 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses and at least one risk condition (e.g., a chronic medical condition)

If you have one or more of the following symptoms, you should immediately call 911 or go to the emergency department:

  • Severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, can only speak in single words)
  • Severe chest pain (constant tightness or crushing sensation)
  • Feeling confused or unsure of where you are losing consciousness
Book an appointment for: an in-person assessment OR to speak to a clinician about access to treatment

Care clinics will assess those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 who feel unwell, are worsening, or simply want to be seen by a medical provider. You should bring a list of your medication and a list of any important medical conditions to your appointment.

These care clinics can also discuss COVID-19 antiviral treatment for adults most at risk. COVID-19 antiviral treatment must begin as soon as possible because antiviral treatment has to be started within five days of symptom onset to be most effective.

The Ottawa Hospital Clinical Assessment Centre - 1081 Carling Ave, Suite 601, Ottawa
  • Ages: Anyone 18+ years old
  • Hours:
    • Monday to Saturday, 8am to 4pm
  • Services provided:
    • Treatment for those with a known or suspected COVID-19 infection who:
      • Are experiencing escalating respiratory symptoms that cannot be safely managed at home
        AND
      • Cannot access their family physician, but also do not require emergency care
    • Treatment includes basic diagnostic tests such as chest x-ray, ECGs, basic bloodwork as well as referrals to IV therapy and antivirals
  • Location: Parkdale Medical Building, 1081 Carling Ave, Suite 601
  • Book an appointment:
    • By appointment only
    • Book an appointment by calling 613-798-5555 ext. 19507 (Fax Number: 613-722-7994)
East Ottawa Kids COVID Care Clinic - 4289 Innes Road, Orléans
  • Ages: Children and youth between 2 months and 17 years old
  • Hours:
    • Monday to Friday, 5pm to 9pm
    • Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 1pm
  • Services provided:
    • COVID-19 testing for children and youth (2 months to 17 years) and other members of their household who meet the current testing criteria.
    • In-person consultation with a physician for children and youth (2 months to 17 years) with new symptoms such as fever, cough, vomiting, belly pain, earache, or sore throat.
  • Location: Ottawa Medical Group (2nd floor) 4289 Innes Road, Orléans K1E 0A8

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

To keep our communities safe, Ottawa’s assessment centres and testing sites follow all guidelines mandated by the provincial government and public health experts. Please note the information on this page is designed to guide you and your family in making a decision to book a test, it does not guarantee you will be tested on site / receive a test on site. Testing is subject to assessment by a clinician on site. All sites have professional, caring and highly trained staff to make your testing experience quick, safe and as comfortable as possible. If you think you need a test, please book an appointment and get it done today. Testing is subject to eligibility requirements, assessment centres and care clinics reserve the right to refuse a test based on their assessment of the individual’s symptoms, exposure, unique situation, and based on public health guidance.

  • Test results: If you cannot access your test results via the provincial portal, you can call 613-566-4470
Kids Come First Care Clinic – 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa
  • Ages:
    • For care at the COVID-19 CHEO Kids Come First care clinic, ages two months to 18 years (infants less than two months of age must visit the CHEO Emergency Department)
  • Hours:
    • Every day, 7:30am to 8:00pm

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

To keep our communities safe, Ottawa’s assessment centres and testing sites follow all guidelines mandated by the provincial government and public health experts. Please note the information on this page is designed to guide you and your family in making a decision to book a test, it does not guarantee you will be tested on site / receive a test on site. Testing is subject to assessment by a clinician on site. All sites have professional, caring and highly trained staff to make your testing experience quick, safe and as comfortable as possible. If you think you need a test, please book an appointment and get it done today. Testing is subject to eligibility requirements, assessment centres and care clinics reserve the right to refuse a test based on their assessment of the individual’s symptoms, exposure, unique situation, and based on public health guidance.

Moodie COVID-19 care and testing centre - 595 Moodie Drive, Ottawa

NEW: The Moodie COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre closed on Friday, July 15 and relocated to 2625 Draper Avenue. Book an appointment at the newly opened West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre.

West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre - 2625 Draper Avenue, Ottawa

NEW: Queensway Carleton Hospital’s new West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre is now fully open with its full suite of services for patients with respiratory illness.

  • Ages: Anyone over six months old
  • Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm
  • Services provided:
    • Swab only: For those with mild symptoms who are eligible for a COVID-19 test
    • Physician care visit: For those that have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 (with symptoms such as cough, difficulty breathing or sore throat) or those who are eligible for antiviral therapy who need to see a physician
  • Location: 2625 Draper Avenue, Ottawa
  • Book an appointment:
    • Please book an appointment before visiting the West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre
    • Book an appointment or call 613-721-4722
    • Please note telephone booking is reserved for those who do not have internet access. It is not an information line
  • Test results: 
    • Check our online Meditech Patient Portal
    • You will be required to log in to see your results
    • If you do not have an account, you can sign up for one at the time of your test

Akausivik Inuit Family Heath Team

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 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

Will I get tested for COVID-19 during my in-person assessment?

In some cases, yes. A COVID-19 test will be performed if recommend by the medical professional and if you meet testing eligibility as set out by provincial guidelines.

Can I get antiviral treatment?

Antiviral treatments are now available in the community (outside of a hospital) for people with symptoms (even if mild) who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19. These treatments must be taken within the first 5 days of your symptoms starting.

Take the Ontario COVID-19 Antiviral Treatment Screener tool online to determine if you are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and may benefit from these treatments.

You can use the screening tool even if you do not have symptoms, to be prepared in case you get sick.

Health care providers may also determine if antiviral treatment is appropriate for patients based on individual circumstances even if they do not belong to one of the groups listed.

Antiviral treatment is not a substitute for vaccination, antiviral treatment is intended for those who are at a higher risk of severe outcomes and hospitalization. 

Eligible individuals include:   

Effective immediately, the following higher-risk groups are eligible to be tested and assessed for antiviral treatments, such as Paxlovid, in Ontario:

  • Individuals aged 18 and over who are immunocompromised (have an immune system that is weakened by a health condition or medications);
  • Individuals aged 70 and over;
  • Individuals aged 60 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses; and
  • Individuals aged 18 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses and at least one risk condition (e.g., a chronic medical condition)

Anyone who is eligible for an assessment is now also eligible for a PCR test at any testing centre in Ontario.

What to do if you think you are eligible: 

Treatment for antivirals must be started within five days (depending on treatment) of when your symptoms began.

Individuals who are part of higher risk groups and who have COVID-19 symptoms (even if mild) should immediately seek testing and care, by contacting their health care provider or visiting a clinical assessment centre (where you can get tested, assessed, and provided treatment or a prescription). 

Use a rapid antigen test if you have one. However, as rapid antigen tests may be negative in the early stage of infection, seek PCR testing and assessment immediately if the test is negative or if you don’t have a rapid antigen test.

Next Steps:

Where to access antiviral treatment in Ottawa

Ontario is now making it easier for eligible individuals with a prescription to access antivirals by expanding dispensing locations to include participating pharmacies across the province. A list of pharmacies that are dispensing Paxlovid will be available at Ontario.ca/Antivirals as of April 13, 2022.

If you have one of more of the following moderate to severe symptoms you should immediately call 911 or go to the emergency department: 

  • Severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, can only speak in single words); 

  • Severe chest pain (constant tightness or crushing sensation); 

  • Feeling confused or unsure of where you are; 

Rapid antigen tests for the general public

Rapid antigen tests detect certain proteins in the virus to confirm the presence of COVID-19. A sample, which can be self-collected, is taken using a swab in the nose and/or throat or nasopharynx (behind your nose and above the back of your throat) and can produce a result in as little as 15 minutes.

Rapid testing for at-home use

Expanding access to free rapid tests to the general public will to help detect COVID‑19 earlier and stop the spread of the virus. Starting February 9 2022, Ontario will be distributing 5.5 million rapid antigen tests each week for eight weeks through pharmacy and grocery locations across the province, as well as through community partners in vulnerable communities.

You can find addresses of participating locations using this chart. Search “city” to narrow down your results.

Learn more about rapid testing for at-home use program, how to collect a rapid antigen test sample or read our frequently asked questions about rapid antigen testing (RAT.

Rapid antigen testing for workplaces
Rapid antigen testing is also known as rapid testing or point of care (POC) testing. It is available for asymptomatic individuals who are part of a workplace or organization that is participating in the Provincial Antigen Screening Program or private testing.
Rapid antigen testing (RAT) & school take-home testing kits

There have been changes to the testing strategy in Ottawa. PCR take-home tests are no longer available in schools as the province is now providing rapid antigen tests for students and staff in Ottawa. Rapid antigen tests are provided by schools to staff and students and should be used if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. 

For more information visit our webpage

Private testing options for international and domestic travellers

Learn more about COVID-19 testing for the purpose of pre-travel clearance

Private testing options for international and domestic travellers

Following testing guidance from the Ministry of Health, Ottawa’s assessment centres no longer provide free COVID-19 tests for the purpose of pre-travel clearance.

Travellers should consult their travel carrier’s guidelines to ensure they have the most up-to-date information about requirements. Travellers should also refer to the federal government’s travel website for up-to-date expectations and requirements related to their destination.

If there is a requirement to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test when traveling domestically or internationally, it is important to ensure ample time for testing and receiving results. COVID-19 testing services are available for a fee, and travellers in need of a test are encouraged to search for convenient local options.

Travellers are also responsible for verifying COVID-19 testing requirements with their airline or the place they will be visiting.

Suggested private providers to get tested for pre-travel clearance:

 

Pharmacie MediOne

Ottawa West Travel Medicine Clinic

  • In addition to pre-travel testing, the Ottawa West Travel Medicine Clinic also offers in-house PCR testing and doctor assessments to aid in issuing Certificates of Recovery and Fitness to Travel.

  • 760 Eagleson Road (2nd Floor, Superstore) Kanata
  • 613-301-6010 / 613-592-9081
  • www.ottawatravelmedicine.com

Riverside Travel Medicine Clinic 

Appletree Medical Centres

  • 2150 Robertson Road, Ottawa
  • 356 Woodroffe Ave, Ottawa
  • 1595 Merivale Road, Ottawa
  • 2573 Baseline Road, Ottawa
  • 150 Katimavik Road, Ottawa
  • 225 Preston Street, Ottawa
  • Click here to book online

Immigration Physician Ottawa

Lacroix Medical Clinic 

  • 232 Boulevard Saint Joseph, Gatineau, Québec 
  • 819-778-1330 

Dynacare Clinics in Montreal  

  • 475, boulevard de la Côte-Vertu, Saint-Laurent, Québec 
  • 8560, rue Saint-Hubert, Montreal, Quebec 

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • Check online for locations  

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and there are fees associated at these clinics.

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 testing

Is there a possibility that a person who gets the virus once can get it again?

Most people who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection will have some immunity to protect against future infection or to make a future infection less severe. However, reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is possible. For this reason, NACI (the National Advisory Committee on Immunization) recommends that COVID-19 vaccines be offered to individuals who have previously been infected with COVID-19. 

Although the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada are effective, protection from COVID-19 takes time to develop. You should not assume that you will be protected right away. Also, no vaccine is 100% effective - there will be a small percentage of people who will remain unprotected despite being vaccinated and vaccines may not protect against all variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Because of ongoing COVID-19 transmission in the community and because the vaccines will not protect everyone, it is therefore important that you continue to follow public health measures (e.g., physical distancing, avoiding close contact with non-household members, wearing a mask, staying home when sick, and practicing hand hygiene) to keep each other safe, whether you have been vaccinated or not.   

Should I get re-tested once I have recovered from COVID-19?

Ottawa Public Health and the Province of Ontario do not recommend re-testing after finishing isolation unless new symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 develop after isolation has ended. Another test is not needed to discontinue isolation for those who have recovered from COVID-19. 

 Most individuals can discontinue self-isolation when: 

  • They have completed their required self- isolation period since symptoms first appeared or positive test date if asymptomatic AND

  • They have no fever (without the use of fever reducing medication) AND

  • Symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours for gastrointestinal symptoms)

Why am I still testing positive for COVID-19 after my self-isolation period has ended? Am I still contagious?

PCR Test after infection:

Continuing to test positive after recovery from COVID-19 infection is common, with some people still testing positive on a PCR test for weeks or months after their initial infection. This is because the PCR test is detecting viral remains that are no longer living and unable to cause infection. This means you are no longer contagious.  Therefore, it is not recommended that individuals without symptoms undergo PCR testing for at least 90 days after the initial COVID-19 infection.  If the person develops new symptoms of COVID-19 within that 90 day period, consultation with a health care provider is recommended to help with the decision on whether to do further testing. Note that individuals who develop new symptoms of COVID-19 should complete the provincial screening tool and follow the isolation and mask use instructions provided.

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) after infection:

Rapid antigen tests (RAT) are generally less sensitive to the virus than PCR tests and work better in symptomatic people.  If a person tests positive using a RAT, with or without symptoms, they should follow isolation and mask use guidelines until they have completed the required self-isolation period and symptoms have been improving for 24 hours, even if a test repeated within the isolation period is negative.

By 10 days after developing symptoms or testing positive (20 days if immune compromised), there are very few people who have any remaining viable virus – which means they are no longer contagious. Therefore, required isolation and masking precautions can be ended based on time from symptom onset or positive test date (whichever is earlier) and further testing is not recommended.

After testing positive for COVID-19 on either a PCR test or RAT, individuals can begin participating in RAT screening programs (e.g., workplace programs that test for COVID-19 infection regularly in those without symptoms) 30 days after the initial COVID-19 infection. If the person develops new symptoms of COVID-19 during the 30 day period following a positive RAT, consultation with a health care provider is recommended to help with the decision on whether to do further testing. Note that individuals who develop new symptoms of COVID-19 should complete the provincial screening tool and follow the isolation and mask use instructions provided.

Ottawa’s daily testing update

Visit the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce website.

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