How to Get Tested for COVID-19 Across Canada
Think you're experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? Here is a quick guide on how to get tested for coronavirus in your province or territory.
How to Get Tested For COVID-19 in Every Province and Territory
If you’re feeling sick with possible COVID-19 symptoms, or think you may have been exposed to the virus, you’re probably wondering what to do next. Every province and territory has its own approach to testing, and it frequently changes. Here’s a quick guide on how to get tested for COVID-19 across the country.
This post is being regularly updated, but make sure to check the link for your province or territory before heading out to get tested. And, if you have severe symptoms—like difficulty breathing—call your emergency health line immediately.
People in BC can take the self-assessment test on their desktop or through an app (available for both iPhone and Android users). The province also has an interactive map on its website to help you find your closest testing centre, as well as detailed instruction on what to do if you test positive—or negative—for the virus.
Alberta is offering testing to anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Before attempting to get tested, however, complete the province’s self-assessment tool to determine your next steps. Individuals with severe symptoms are encouraged to call 911. The province also notes that the test is only for people who have current symptoms and not for anyone who may have had COVID-19 symptoms in the past.
In Saskatchewan, you can be referred for testing by your doctor, nurse practitioner, HealthLine 811, or your local Public Health Communicable Disease Control office. Online self-assessments are also available. While the government lists testing sites across the province, walk-ins are not welcome and you’ll only obtain the exact address after an official referral.
The province has an online assessment tool to help determine what to do next if you’re feeling sick. Note that the government asks people to not call 911—unless you’re experiencing a health emergency. Otherwise, potential patients can call Health Links-Info Santé if they think they might have COVID-19. While the government does list testing sites and locations on its website, the centres do not accept walk-ins. Make sure you have a referral before you head to yours.
Ontario expanded its testing priority list on April 10. Anyone who’s feeling sick, or thinks they may be exposed to the virus, should take the province’s online assessment tool. Once completed, it will provide instructions on what to do next. You can also take the test on behalf of someone unable to take it themselves. Lab results and case data are also available online.
Most of Quebec’s cases are now being linked to community transmission. As a result, on April 20 the province changed its list of who will receive prioritized testing. People who feel sick are being asked to call before heading to a testing centre. If a test is needed, you will be referred to the correct centre. Case data for Quebec is also available online.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms can use the government’s online assessment tool to figure out if they should self-isolate, call 811, or seek immediate help. While testing can be arranged via 811, anyone who is feeling unwell is asked not to call until they’ve completed the self-assessment. Once a test is completed, results can be accessed online.
If you think you might have COVID-19, head over to the province’s online checklist. People who are experiencing two or more of the listed symptoms are asked to call 811 to determine if they need a test. The province warns that nobody should visit a test centre without referral from a public health nurse.
Prince Edward Island
On April 23, PEI announced it has the capacity to test 2,000 people per week—expanding its list of who can be tested. If you are experiencing symptoms, the province suggests contacting your doctor to access testing. If you don’t have one, or are unable to reach yours, call 811 to arrange a test, if needed. The province also has a simple online assessment tool and includes up-to-date data on its cases.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Your first step is to take the province’s online assessment. Depending on your results, you may be advised to call 811 to arrange a test with Public Health. In some cases, a public health nurse will come to your home to test you. Results are typically available within 72 hours and can be viewed online.
Yukon has focused testing on people who have travelled outside the territory, have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or have developed symptoms themselves. If you think you might be sick, take the online self-assessment tool, but don’t head over to your doctor, clinic, or care centre without calling 811 first.
There are numerous ways to secure a test in the NWT, including an online self-assessment tool. Visit the territory’s website for local numbers you can call to book a test, if required. If you live in Yellowknife, you may even be able to book online.
In early April, Nunavut shifted its testing priorities to include anyone who presented symptoms of COVID-19. Before that, the territory had largely limited testing to people who had travelled outside Nunavut. Anyone who thinks they may need to be tested can take the government’s self-assessment tool or call its COVID-19 hotline. As of April 24, there were no reported cases in the territory.
Plus, read our glossary of all the new COVID-19 terms you need to know.