Getting tested for COVID-19

Testing at assessment centres (AC) or participating community labs:

Guelph AC | Headwaters AC | Wellington ACs (Fergus and Harriston)

You can get a COVID-19 test at an assessment centre or participating community lab if any of the following apply to you:

  • Symptoms and exposure
    • Currently experiencing any of the following symptoms:
      • fever (feeling hot to the touch, a temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher)
      • chills
      • cough that’s new or worsening (continuous, more than usual)
      • barking cough, making a whistling noise when breathing (croup)
      • shortness of breath (out of breath, unable to breathe deeply)
      • sore throat
      • difficulty swallowing
      • runny, stuffy or congested nose (not related to seasonal allergies or other known causes or conditions)
      • lost sense of taste or smell
      • pink eye (conjunctivitis)
      • headache that’s unusual or long lasting
      • digestive issues (nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain)
      • muscle aches
      • extreme tiredness that is unusual (fatigue, lack of energy)
      • falling down often
      • for young children and infants: sluggishness or lack of appetite
    • have been exposed to a -positive person (if you know when you were exposed, get tested 7 days after your last exposure and stay in self-isolation. If you do not know when you were exposed, get tested right away)
    • received a Covid Alert app exposure notification
    • a resident or worker in a setting that has a outbreak, as identified by your local public health unit
  • Long-term care and other congregate settings
    • a worker (including support workers), visitor (including caregivers), or government inspector of a long-term care home
    • a worker (including support workers), visitor (including caregivers), or government inspector of a retirement home
    • a resident or worker in a homeless shelter or other congregate setting (for example, group homes, community supported living, disability-specific communities or congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices and other shelters)
  • Farming
    • a farm worker
  • Indigenous
    • a person who identifies as Indigenous
    • a person travelling into remote/isolated First Nation and Indigenous communities for work purposes
  • Child care
    • staff in child care settings 
  • Surgery and other reasons
    • need a test before a scheduled (non-urgent or emergent) surgery in a region with high community transmission (ask your health care provider)
    • you received a point-of-care test (such as a rapid test) and require a follow-up lab-based test to confirm results
    • a person, and one accompanying caregiver, with written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager, OHIP
    • any other targeted testing group as outlined in guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health

At a participating pharmacy

You can get a test at a participating pharmacy if you do not have symptoms, have not been in close physical contact with someone who currently has , are not part of a specific outbreak investigation, and if any of the following apply to you:

  • Long-term care and other congregate settings
    • a resident, worker (including support workers), visitor (including caregivers), or government inspector of a long-term care home
    • a resident, worker (including support workers), visitor (including caregivers), or government inspector of a retirement home
    • a resident or worker in a homeless shelter or other congregate setting (for example, group homes, community supported living, disability-specific communities or congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices and other shelters)
  • Child care
    • staff in child care settings 
    • children attending child care settings
  • Indigenous
    • a person who identifies as Indigenous
    • a person travelling into remote/isolated First Nation and Indigenous communities for work purposes
  • Other reasons
    • a person who needs out-of-country medical services, and one accompanying caregiver (with written prior approval from the OHIP General Manager as requested by a referring physician)
    • a farm worker
    • campers and staff who plan to attend an overnight summer camp in 2021

Private COVID-19 testing

  • Private COVID-19 tests are available throughout Ontario for a fee and can be found through a web search.

What to know before and after you get tested

COVID-19 Laboratory Testing in Ontario

Laboratory testing is an essential component of Ontario’s response to COVID-19. Not only because it tells us if someone has COVID-19 or not, but also because it sheds light on where and how the virus is spreading. Public Health Ontario’s website has information about testing including how testing is done, the two types of tests (PCR testing to see if someone currently has COVID-19 and serology testing to test if someone previously had COVID-19), cycle threshhold values, testing methods and more. WDG Public Health does not play a role in the testing process but you can find out more at: