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When should I seek COVID-19 testing?

Ontario has changed their COVID-19 testing requirements

The trajectory of the pandemic has changed, which has resulted in Ontario adapting its guidelines to COVID-19 testing.

As of September 25, 2020, publicly funded COVID-19 testing is only be available for those who meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are showing symptoms of COVID-19

  • You have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, as informed by either Public Health or an exposure notification through the COVID Alert app

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

  • 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

This change in testing criteria is to ensure the people who need access to testing the most will be able to receive it in a timely manner, which will also help York Region Public Health with contact tracing and case management.

It is strongly recommended you download the voluntary COVID Alert app. If you test positive for COVID-19, you can request a one-time key to enter into the COVID Alert app. This will anonymously notify other people who have the app they may have been near someone who tested positive, without sharing any personal information.

What happens after my COVID-19 test?

Anxious on when to expect your results after being tested for COVID-19 test? We understand the desire to receive results as quickly as possible.

After your COVID-19 test, it is sent to a lab for testing and the result is reported to the Ontario Laboratories Information System. This website uses your health card and date of birth to validate you. Reporting of test results falls under the jurisdiction of Ontario Health. Once reported, your results will be available for 90 days. You’ll be able to find your results on Ontario’s online test results portal.

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

Visit Tested! Now what? for more information about what to do after your test.

What if I can’t access my 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.

If you cannot access your test results through Ontario’s portal, try the secure portal of the COVID-19 Assessment Centre you visited. If difficulties continue, contact the clinician who ordered your test or your primary care provider.

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 COVID-19 Assessment Centre or testing physician directly to receive your results.

We understand isolation can be difficult, especially as you wait for your COVID-19 test results, but properly isolating is of the utmost importance to potentially stop the spread of COVID-19.

What if I test positive?

If your results come back positive you will receive a call from York Region Public Health. Once you receive this call you must immediately self-isolate to protect others around you. You will also have to list the places you have been and the people you’ve had close contact with to help York Region Public Health with contact tracing.

Remember, the best defense against COVID-19 is to follow all public health measures in place, including practicing physical distancing, wearing a face mask or covering in indoor public spaces and on transit, proper hand hygiene and staying home when sick.

For more information about COVID-19 testing in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19


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