Ontario Updating Testing Guidelines

Published on September 25, 2020

Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of Ontarians. From the outset of this outbreak the government has been guided by our world-class health care experts who have continually advised us on the response and the appropriate steps to take in battling this virus. We are continuing to ensure the response to COVID-19 evolves based on the course of the pandemic in our province and on what we have learned both locally and globally to date.

That’s why based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and our public health experts we will start prioritizing testing for the following:

  • People showing symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Asymptomatic people who have come into contact with a confirmed case of the virus, including those who’ve received exposure notifications through the COVID-19 app;
  • Asymptomatic people living or working in areas or settings experiencing a potential or known outbreak;
  •  Asymptomatic people who may be high-risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and who live in high-risk settings such as long-term care homes, homeless shelters and other congregate settings, and people who work in these settings.


To be clear, Ontarians who aren’t showing symptoms or are a resident/staff member in an at-risk setting, such as a long-term care home, homeless shelter or other congregate setting can get tested for COVID-19 at pharmacies starting on Friday.

The government will continue to work with all sector partners to make sure we are using every available resource to increase the capacity of our lab network. We remain committed to ensuring Ontarians can continue to get tested and receive their results in a timely manner.