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How to get tested for COVID-19 in Canada

Do not go to your doctor or a hospital before calling the appropriate number in your province.

Updated: March 30, 2020

As the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to grow across Canada, it’s important that Canadians know where to seek advice and get tested if necessary.

Each province has their own testing procedures, and at this time most provinces only ask that those who have recently travelled and have symptoms of COVID-19 get tested. Those who have been exposed to someone known to have COVID-19 should also seek out medical advice.

Most provinces have simple self-assessment tests online. These provinces are recommending the public complete these assessments before they pursue medical advice.

In the event you are experiencing the more extreme symptoms of COVID-19, including severe difficulty breathing, chest pains and confusion you should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. All provinces and territories are requesting that you call ahead and explain that you may have contracted COVID-19.

It is extremely important that you isolate yourself if you are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19. Do not go to your doctor or a hospital before calling the appropriate number in your province.

Symptoms of COVID-19

According to Health Canada, the symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia. Additional symptoms may include chest pains, confusion, lethargy and sore throat.

It may take up to 14 days after contracting COVID-19 before any symptoms appear. Anyone who has travelled internationally is required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Some provinces have introduced fines for individuals who fail to self-isolate.

British Columbia

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: link

For non-medical information on COVID-19 call 1-888-268-4319.

British Columbia is not recommending most people get tested for COVID-19. Currently people who have developed symptoms of COVID-19 and meet one of the following categories are required to get testing:

  • Hospitalized, or likely to be hospitalized
  • Health Care Workers
  • Residents of long-term care facilities
  • Part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak

If you develop mild symptoms of COVID-19 remain in self-isolation. If your condition worsens, call your regular physician or BC HealthLink at 811. A medical professional may require you to get tested depending on your situation.

Alberta

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: link

To be tested voluntarily in Alberta you must have recently travelled abroad and have since developed the symptoms of COVID-19. Those who have been near a person diagnosed with COVID-19 and have since developed symptoms should also seek testing.

To access testing you can call Health Link at 811 or send your contact information to Health Link via the self-assessment tool and a medical professional will determine if you require testing.

Saskatchewan

COVID-19 self-assessment tool: link

In Saskatchewan you do not need to be tested for COVID-19 unless you have not travelled outside Canada or had contact with someone diagnosed as having COVID-19.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 and have travelled abroad recently call HealthLine at 811, or alternatively at 1-204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257. A medical professional at Healthline will determine if you require testing.

Manitoba

COVID-19 Screening Tool: link

To be tested voluntarily in Manitoba you must have recently travelled abroad and have since developed the symptoms of COVID-19. Those who have been near a person diagnosed with COVID-19 and have since developed symptoms should also seek testing.

To access testing you can call Health Links-Info Santé at 1-888-315-925 and a medical professional will determine if you require testing.

Ontario

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: link

To be tested voluntarily in Ontario you must have recently travelled abroad and have since developed the symptoms of COVID-19. Those who have been near a person diagnosed with COVID-19 and have since developed symptoms should also seek testing. 

Anyone in Ontario who is experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to contact their primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to receive medical advice. If testing is advisable you will be directed to the nearest testing location.

Quebec

Quebec does not offer an online self-assessment tool at this time.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 or believe you were exposed to COVID-19 you are asked to call one of the following numbers:

  • 418-644-4545 in the Québec City region, 
  • 514-644-4545 in the Montréal area, 
  • 450-644-4545 in the Montérégie region, 
  • 819-644-4545 in the Outaouais region 
  • 1-877-644-4545 (toll free) elsewhere in Québec.

A walk-in clinic has been set up in Montreal for those who would like to get tested for COVID-19. In order to get tested you will have to either have the symptoms of COVID-19, been in contact with a known COVID-19 carrier or have travelled abroad since March 1.

New Brunswick

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: link

If you are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 and would like to get tested you are asked to make a virtual appointment with your primary care provider or call Tele-Care at 811. New Brunswickers are asked to complete the self-assessment tool before calling 811 or their provider.

A medical professional will determine if you require testing.

Nova Scotia

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: link

To be tested voluntarily in Nova Scotia you will have shown the symptoms of COVID-19 after travelling abroad or being in contact with someone diagnosed with the virus. Complete the self-assessment tool and call 811 if recommended and a medical professional will determine if you require testing. 

If testing is advisable you will be directed to the nearest testing location.

Prince Edward Island

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: link

Testing is currently focused on those who have recently travelled or had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. Complete the self-assessment tool and call 811 if recommended to arrange testing.

For general inquiries about COVID-19 call 1-800-958-6400.

Newfoundland and Labrador

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: link

Testing is limited to those who have traveled outside Newfoundland and Labrador in the past 14 days and have since developed symptoms of COVID-19. Call 811 if recommended by the self-assessment tool to arrange testing.

Anyone with questions specifically surrounding self-isolation are asked to call the Canadian Red Cross COVID-19 helpline at 1-800-863-6582.

Yukon

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: link

Testing is currently focused on those who have recently travelled or had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. Complete the self-assessment tool and call 811 if recommended to arrange testing.

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories does not offer an online self-assessment tool at this time.

Anyone experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to call one of the following numbers:

  • Yellowknife: 867-767-9120
  • Inuvik: 867-490-2225
  • Fort Smith: 867-872-6219 
  • Hay River: 867-874-7201 

For General Questions about COVID-19 you can contact covid@gov.nt.ca. 

Nunavut

Nunavut does not offer an online self-assessment tool at this time.

Starting on March 24 only Nunavut residents and critical workers are allowed into the territory. Residents will have to provide proof of residency to be allowed to fly into Nunavut.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have travelled out of Nunavut recently are asked to call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-975-8601 and a medical professional will determine if testing is required.

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