The Regional Municipality Of York

ALERT: In response to the COVID-19 situation, York Region has declared a State of Emergency  |  Get the latest on our response to COVID-19  |  Masks and face coverings are mandatory in York Region effective July 17  |  Staying Safe at School during COVID-19


Symptoms, Transmission, Treatment and Testing

Testing and Assessment Centres

Do you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with it?

Testing is available for anyone:

  • Showing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, as informed by 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

Then get tested at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre located at:

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 two layer non-medical 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.

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

Read the follow-up Instructions 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:

If you were tested by your health care provider or a medical clinic, the attending physician who carried out the test will provide you with results.

If you have an older health card (red and white health card) or don’t have a health card, your test results may not be available online. Follow up with the assessment centre or testing physician directly to receive your results.

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.

The tests used in Ontario measures the amount of COVID-19 virus in a sample / swab taken from an infected patient. The test does not always provide accurate results if the sample or swab doesn't have a lot of virus in it to measure. Asymptomatic patients do not always produce enough virus for the test to give accurate results.


COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild (like the flu and other common respiratory infections) to severe.

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

Less common symptoms/signs of COVID-19 should be considered, particularly in children, older persons and people living with a developmental disability. Less common symptoms and signs include:

Unexplained fatigue, malaise or myalgia (tiredness, unwellness, or muscle aches), Delirium (confusion, hallucinations, loss of balance), Unexplained or increased number of falls, Acute functional decline (trouble concentrating or doing regular tasks), Exacerbation of chronic conditions (worsening), Chills, Headaches, Croup, Conjunctivitis (pink eye), Multisystem inflammatory vasculitis in children*

Clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia, Unexplained tachycardia (including age specific tachycardia for children fast heartbeat), Decrease in blood pressure, Unexplained hypoxia (even if mild i.e. O2 sat <90%), Lethargy, difficulty feeding in infants (if no other diagnosis)

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.


There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 and there is no vaccine that protects against the coronavirus that causes it. 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. It has helped successfully control the spread of COVID-19 in many other parts of the world, including South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. 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 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

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 symptoms or 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 don’t 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 preventative measures including:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Practice physical distancing (2-metres) with anyone outside of your social circle
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • If you cannot maintain physical distancing between yourself and others, you should wear a 2-layer non-medical mask or face covering

If you are still going to work every day (e.g., essential worker):

  • Track your daily whereabouts in a journal, including where you went and who you interacted with

Carefully monitor your health for any signs and symptoms of illness and immediately self-isolate for 14 days if you start developing any symptoms.

Social Circles

The Government of Ontario has encouraged Ontarians to establish “social circles” of no more than 10 people. Each circle will be able to come into close contact with one another, without having to worry about physical distancing. Learn more about five simple steps to create a social circle.

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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