The Regional Municipality Of York


Symptoms, Transmission, Treatment and Testing

Testing and Assessment Centres

Do you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19? Testing is available for anyone:

  • Showing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, as informed by York Region Public Health or by exposure notification through the COVID Alert app
  • Who lives or works in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak
  • Eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care

Get tested at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre by appointment

If you are not showing any symptoms and do not meet the criteria above, you can get tested for COVID-19 at select pharmacies. To find the closest pharmacy or assessment centre, please visit

When you visit a COVID-19 Assessment Centre or pharmacy, wear a mask or face covering.

If you have travelled outside of Canada you must remain in self-isolation once you return for the full 14 days, even if test results are negative.

If you are unsure if you need to self-isolate or get tested, please contact York Region Public Health at 1-800-361-5653.

For detailed information on testing, refer to the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Provincial Testing Guidance Update

Have You Been Tested at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre?

Read the follow-up instructions and self-isolation advice for individuals tested for COVID-19.

How to Get Your Test Results

The Ontario government online test results portal offers secure access to test results on your computer or mobile device. Test results will be available in 1 to 6 days after your test.

Please note: the test results portal does not work with Internet Explorer or iOS 11 and older. You might also need to disconnect from your corporate network or virtual private network (VPN).

If you completed your testing at a York Region emergency department or COVID-19 Assessment Centre, you can also check your results through the secure portal of the hospital you visited:

York Region Public Health will only contact you if you receive a positive result for COVID-19 from a York Region emergency department, COVID-19 Assessment Centre, or pharmacy.

York Region Public Health does not provide testing for COVID-19.

Graphic of a hand holding a smart phone with a sample of a text message from Public HealthStarting Sunday, December 27, 2020, York Region Public Health will begin implementing the Province of Ontario’s Virtual Assistant to support COVID-19 case management and contact tracing in York Region.

Residents recently tested for COVID-19 or close contacts of someone identified as positive may receive a text message from York Region Public Health with a secure link to complete a personal assessment form. All information collected is kept confidential and protected by Ontario’s strict privacy laws and will only be used for public health purposes.

The form is voluntary and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Residents can opt out by texting the word “STOP”. This tool will add another level of support for our residents and enhance York Region Public Health’s case management and contact tracing efforts.


Like the flu and other common respiratory infections, COVID-19 can range from mild to severe.

When assessing for any symptoms, the focus should be on evaluating if they are new, worsening, or different from an individual’s usual state. Symptoms should not be chronic or related to other known causes or conditions.

If you have any severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 911

Complications from COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia, and in some cases, death. Your risk of severe disease may be higher if you have a weakened immune system. This may be the case for:

  • People over 70 years of age
  • People who are immunocompromised or those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart, renal or chronic lung disease

* Recent reports indicate that there may be an increase in rare but serious multisystem inflammatory vasculitis, which appears similar to Kawasaki syndrome, impacting children diagnosed with COVID-19. While the link between this inflammatory illness and COVID-19 is not proven at this time, the Ministry of Health has added it to the COVID-19 case definition so that cases of this inflammatory illness will be reported and monitored.

Common Symptoms Include:

Graphic illustration of symptoms of COVID-19: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or diffiiculty swallowing, new smell or taste disorder(s), Nasea/vomiting, diarrea, abdominal pain, runny nose or nasal congestion

  • Fever (temperature of 37.8°C/100.0°F or greater)
  • Cough that is new or worsening (continuous, more than usual) including croup (barking cough, making a whistling noise when breathing)
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea, out of breath, unable to breathe deeply, wheeze, that is worse than usual if chronically short of breath)

Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Sore throat (painful swallowing or difficulty swallowing)
  • Runny nose (rhinorrhea)
  • Nasal congestion (stuffy nose)
  • New olfactory or taste disorder (decrease or loss of smell or taste)
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain that is persistent or ongoing

Less common (“atypical”) symptoms and signs of COVID-19 should be considered, particularly in infants, children, older persons and people living with a developmental disability.

Atypical symptoms can include:

  • Chills; headache that is new and persistent, unusual, unexplained or long-lasting; conjunctivitis (pink eye); fatigue, lethargy, or malaise (general feeling of being unwell, lack of energy, extreme tiredness) that is unusual or unexplained; myalgia (muscle aches and pain) that is unexplained, unusual, or long-lasting; decreased or lack of appetite

Atypical signs should be based on an assessment by a Health Care Provider, should not be explained by other known causes or conditions, and can include:

  • New or unusual exacerbation of chronic conditions (e.g. chronic lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder); tachycardia (fast heart rate), including age specific tachycardia for children; low blood pressure for age; hypoxia (i.e. oxygen saturation less than 92%); difficulty feeding in infants; delirium (acutely altered mental status and inattention); increased number of falls in older persons; acute functional decline (a sudden change in ability to function compared to baseline) not related to other known causes or conditions (e.g. gradual decline over months due to a neurological disorder such as dementia or Parkinson’s Disease)

Clinical features of COVID-19 that can be diagnosed by a Health Care Provider include:

  • Clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia

For detailed information on symptoms, refer to the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms

For information symptoms in children and school and daycare attendance recommendations, refer to the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Screening Tool for Children in School and Child Care


There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Most people who get COVID-19 will recover on their own. Typical treatment methods include:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Getting as much rest and sleep as possible
  • Using a humidifier or taking a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough

Transmission: How COVID-19 Spreads

COVID-19 is most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • Respiratory droplets shared when you cough or sneeze
  • Close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread is efficient when there is close contact.

COVID-19 is not known to be spread through the airborne route in community settings. The virus is also not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water.

Overview of what is close contact is

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is public health’s most effective tool to slow the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing aims to interrupt the spread of disease between an infected person and the ring of close contacts around them.

Close contacts include people you live with, have had intimate relationships with, people who have cared for you or you have cared for (for example, with bathing, feeding or dressing), people that you have visited with, spent time with at school, work, or have come into your home.

If you have been told by a healthcare provider that you have COVID-19 (tested positive) or likely have it (whether or not you have been tested or are waiting for results):

  • Contact everyone you have been in close contact with during the following time period: two days before your symptoms started until when you started self-isolating
  • Request that those who you identify as close contacts self-isolate for 14 days since they last interacted with you
  • Contact those in your ring of close contacts that regularly interact with anyone over the age of 70 or individuals who are immunocompromised right away
  • If you have the COVID Alert app, you will get a unique one time key from the Test Results Website that will help notify others   

York Region Public Health will also notify contacts of known cases of COVID-19 if they are at risk of getting the disease.

If you tested negative for COVID-19, but have close contact to a case of COVID-19:

  • Continue to self-isolate and monitor your symptoms for the remainder of your 14-day period
  • If symptoms develop, change or worsen, call your health care provider, York Region Public Health at 1-800-361-5653 or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
  • Seek prompt medical attention if your condition worsens

If you receive a negative COVID-19 test, be sure to inform any close contacts that you previously notified before getting tested.

If you test negative for COVID-19, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get COVID-19 in the future. Negative test results only mean that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing.

If you do not have any symptoms, had no exposure to a case of COVID-19 and had no risk of exposure to COVID-19 through employment, please continue to follow all preventive measures including:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Practice physical distancing (2-metres) with anyone outside of your household
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Wear a mask or face covering when in enclosed public spaces and when physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Download the COVID Alert mobile app

York Region Public Health encourages all residents to track your daily whereabouts in a journal, including where you went and who you interacted with, and to carefully monitor your health for any signs and symptoms daily.

Related Resources

External Resources

covid The Regional Municipality of York en-US Symptoms, Transmission, Treatment and Testing Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe. Find out specifics on how to get testing and treatment if you have symptoms.

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