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Ottawa’s Testing Update

As of February 3, 2023, this website is no longer active. If you are seeking information about COVID-19 testing in Ottawa, please visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/CovidTesting.

Highlights.png

Highlights

487

Average daily PCR

tests collected

(7 day trend)

491

Average daily lab tests processed

(7 day trend) [1]

0

Number of tests in progress as of JanFebruary 2 [2]

12.0%

Positivity rate in

Ottawa residents

(7 day trend) [3]

9 hours

Average turnaround (from the time the swab is received at the lab to the result) [4]

14 hours

Average turnaround (from the time the swab is taken at a

testing site to the result) [5]

4,689

Current daily lab capacity [6]

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Book a PCR COVID-19 test or see a medical professional for an assessment

West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre

Ages: Anyone over six months old

Services provided: 

  • Swab only: For those with mild symptoms who are eligible for a COVID-19 test

  • Physician care visit: For those that have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 (with symptoms such as cough, difficulty breathing or sore throat) or those who are eligible for antiviral therapy who need to see a physician

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Location: 2625 Draper Avenue

Click here to book an appointment

The Ottawa Hospital Clinical Assessment Centre

To increase care options for Ottawa residents within the community and outside of hospital emergency departments, The Ottawa Hospital Clinical Assessment Centre has lowered its age minimum from 18 years to 14.

Ages: Anyone 14+ years old

Services provided: 

  • Treatment for those with a known or suspected COVID-19 infection who:

    • Are experiencing escalating respiratory symptoms that cannot be safely managed at home
      AND

    • Cannot access their family physician, but also do not require emergency care

  • Treatment includes basic diagnostic tests such as chest x-ray, ECGs, basic bloodwork as well as referrals to IV therapy and antivirals

Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

  • Sunday, CLOSED

Location: The Ottawa Hospital, 1081 Carling Ave, Suite 601

Click here to book an appointment

East Ottawa Kids COVID Care Clinic 

Ages: Children and youth between 2 months and 17 years old

Services provided: 

  • COVID-19 testing for children and youth (2 months to 17 years) and other members of their household who meet the current testing criteria

  • In-person consultation with a physician for children and youth (2 months to 17 years) with new symptoms such as fever, cough, vomiting, belly pain, earache, or sore throat

Hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

  • Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Location: 4289 Innes Road, Orléans

 

Click here to book an appointment

COVID-19 CHEO Assessment Centre and Kids Come First Care Clinic

Ages:

  • For a Do-It-Yourself Test Kit, parents can test children two months of age and older. Older children and teens can test themselves with parental support

    For care at the COVID-19 CHEO Kids Come First care clinic, ages two months to 18 years (infants less than two months of age must visit the CHEO Emergency Department)

Services provided: 

  • To pick-up a Do-It-Yourself Testing Kit: book an appointment at the COVID-19 CHEO Assessment Centre and select the “Pick-Up” option (An appointment is required to pick-up a Do-It-Yourself Testing Kit).

  • For an in-person consultation with CHEO’s collaborative assessment team within 1-3 days for children and youth (two months to 18 years) with acute illnesses with new symptoms such as fever, cough, vomiting, belly pain, ear ache or sore throat: book an appointment at the COVID-19 CHEO Kids Come First Care Clinic.

  • For those requiring extra support for accessibility reasons, please contact CHEO’s Patient Experience team at 613-737-7600, ext. 6720. 

Hours: Every day, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm

Location: CHEO Main Campus — 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa

 

Click here to book an appointment

North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre (Kemptville)

To provide more testing options to the Ottawa-area community during the flu season, the North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre (NGCAC) will expand its hours of operation. As of Tuesday, November 8, the NGCAC will be open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

Ages: Anyone over six months old

Services provided: Do-It-Yourself Test Kit distribution and collection by appointment only

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location: 15 Campus Drive, Kemptville

 

Click here to book an appointment

Brewer Park COVID-19 Testing Centre (Now Closed)

After a detailed review of declining COVID-19 testing levels across Ottawa, the Brewer Park COVID-19 Testing Centre closed on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.

 

Eligible Ottawa residents can continue to visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/CovidTesting or Ontario.ca/Assessment-Centre-Locations to book an appointment at an assessment centre or pharmacy for a COVID-19 test, or a clinical assessment centre where you can get assessed, tested, and provided treatment options for COVID-19.

COVID-19 testing highlights

*NEW: Ottawa’s last COVID-19 Testing Taskforce Update will be published on February 2

For the past three years, the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce has worked diligently to provide the Ottawa community with daily information, updates and data related to COVID-19 testing. The COVID-19 testing landscape in Ontario has changed drastically in the last year and following a close review of testing and readership levels, the Taskforce has made the decision to end the publication of its Testing Bulletin. The last Testing Bulletin will be published on Thursday, February 2, 2023.

Ottawa residents are encouraged to continue visiting OttawaPublicHealth.ca/CovidTesting to find their nearest assessment centre or care clinic, review eligibility criteria and book an appointment.

 

The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce would like to take this opportunity to thank its members, health system partners and the entire Ottawa community for their support and collaboration over the last three years.

Accessing antiviral treatments in Ottawa

To protect Ontario residents during this latest wave of COVID-19, the Government of Ontario expanded eligibility for COVID-19 antiviral treatments to more high-risk individuals.

 

Antiviral treatments, such as Paxlovid, are free antiviral medications that are taken orally. Although it is not a replacement for vaccination or other recommended precautions, in a clinical trial Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in people at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

 

With new expanded eligibility, you likely have questions about how to access antiviral treatment in your community. The following FAQ includes details about eligibility, where, and how to seek treatment in Ottawa.

 

Who is eligible for antiviral treatment for COVID-19?

Antiviral treatments for COVID-19 can help prevent serious illness if taken quickly after symptoms start (5 days). They are available in Ontario for free to anyone with a prescription. A health care provider, such as a physician, nurse practitioner or participating pharmacist, can determine if treatment is right for you, which includes whether you are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms. 

You may be at higher risk if you are any of the following:

  • 60 years of age or older

  • 18 years of age or older and are immunocompromised

  • 18 – 59 years old and at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 including having:

    • one or more underlying medical conditions (such as diabetes, heart or lung disease),

    • inadequate immunity against COVID-19 from:

      • not receiving a full primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine

      • having received a full primary series but no COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 infection within the past six months

 

The use of antivirals in children under the age of 18 is not routinely recommended. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, such as for children who are severely immunocompromised and/or have multiple risk factors. Speak with a physician or nurse practitioner or contact a clinical assessment centre to learn more.

 

Use Ontario’s antiviral screener tool to help determine if you should be assessed for treatment: covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-treatment-screener.

Can my child receive antiviral treatment?

In Canada, Paxlovid is not approved for routine use in children and youth less than 18 years of age. Treatment of medically fragile children and youth at the very highest risk of suffering severe complications may be considered by the medical specialists who manage their care needs.

 

I confirmed that I should be assessed for treatment. What do I do now?

It is important to remember that treatment for antivirals must be started within five days (depending on treatment) of when your symptoms began.

 

Adults who are part of higher risk groups and who have COVID-19 symptoms (even if mild) should immediately seek testing and care by contacting their health care provider or visiting a clinical assessment centre (where you can get tested, assessed, and provided treatment or a prescription):

  • The Ottawa Hospital Clinical Assessment Centre - 1081 Carling Ave, Suite 601, Ottawa

 

Use a rapid antigen test if you have one, being sure to sample your throat or tongue in addition to your nose to increase the chance that you will detect COVID-19 if you have it. However, as rapid antigen tests may be negative in the early stage of infection, seek PCR testing and assessment immediately if the test is negative or if you don’t have a rapid antigen test.

 

If you are not able to visit your family doctor or a clinical assessment centre, you can get a PCR test at any provincial testing location, but will also need an assessment from a health care provider to get treatment. After confirming you have COVID-19, contact your family doctor, book an appointment at a clinical assessment centre, or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 as soon as possible.

 

What should I expect during my assessment?

During your assessment, you should bring a list of:

  • Your medications, including prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements

  • Any important medical conditions

 

A health care provider, often with a pharmacist, will decide if any changes to your regular medications are necessary before safely taking Paxlovid or another treatment.

 

What do I do if I need to see a medical professional, but I am not high-risk?

If you, your child, or a loved one are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and want to be seen by a medical professional, but are not high-risk, there are several options available to you. 

 

First talk to your primary care provider. A health care provider may determine treatment is right for you even if you do not belong to one of the groups above based on your individual circumstances. If treatment is not recommended, many family doctor’s offices can see you in-person or virtually to help you decide on next steps.

 

If you do not have access to a family doctor, you can be seen by a medical professional at one of Ottawa’s care clinics for children, youth, and adults:

  • The Ottawa Hospital Clinical Assessment Centre (18+ years old) - 1081 Carling Ave, Suite 601, Ottawa

  • East Ottawa Kids COVID Care Clinic (2 months to 17 years) - 4289 Innes Road, Orléans

  • Kids Come First Care Clinic (2 months to 17 years) – 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa

  • West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre (Anyone over six months old) - 2625 Draper Avenue

If you have one of more of the following moderate to severe symptoms, you should immediately call 911 or go to the emergency department: 

  • Severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, can only speak in single words)

  • Severe chest pain (constant tightness or crushing sensation)

  • Feeling confused or unsure of where you are

  • Losing consciousness

Who qualifies for a PCR or rapid molecular testing

If you are at higher risk of severe outcomes of COVID‑19, you are eligible for PCR or rapid molecular testing and should seek out testing as soon as possible if you develop symptoms.

You are eligible for PCR or rapid molecular testing if you have COVID‑19 symptoms and belong to any of the following groups:

  • People aged 60 years of age and older

  • People aged 18 years of age and older who have at least one condition that puts them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease

  • People aged 18 years of age and older who are unvaccinated or have not completed their first round of vaccinations (e.g., their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines)

  • People aged 18 years of age and older who have received their first round of vaccinations (or primary series) AND received their last COVID-19 vaccine dose more than 6 months ago AND have not had a COVID-19 infection in the past 6 months

  • People who are immunocompromised

  • Pregnant people

  • Patients seeking emergency medical care or other outpatients where the health care professional judges it to be necessary

  • Health care workers providing patient care

  • Staff, volunteers, residents/inpatients, essential care providers, and visitors in highest risk settings including hospitals and congregate living settings with medically and socially vulnerable individuals, including international agriculture workers.

  • Household members of staff in highest risk settings and patient-facing health care workers

  • Home and community care workers

  • People who are underhoused or experiencing homelessness

  • First responders, including firefighters, police and paramedics

 

You are also eligible for PCR or rapid molecular testing if you belong to any of the following groups whether you have symptoms or not:

  • Individuals who are from a First Nation, Inuit, Métis community, and/or who self-identify as First Nation, Inuit, and Métis, and their household members

  • Individuals travelling into First Nation, Inuit, Métis communities for work

  • On admission/transfer to or from hospital or congregate living setting

  • People in the context of confirmed or suspected outbreaks in highest risk settings as directed by the local public health unit

  • Individuals, and one accompanying caregiver, with written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager, Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

  • Any patient with a scheduled surgical procedure requiring a general anaesthetic 24-48 hours prior to procedure date

  • Newborns born to people with confirmed COVID-19 at the time of birth within 24 hours of delivery, with a repeat test at 48 hours after birth if baseline test is negative, or if the parental test results are pending at the time of discharge

  • People 24-48 hours prior to treatment for cancer or prior to hemodialysis, at the discretion of the treating clinician

  • Staff of highest risk settings who, within the last 10 days, have had close contact with an individual with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 or an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, for the purposes of facilitating return to work, as directed by sector-specific guidance or Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) or Occupational Health staff.

 

If you have symptoms but are not eligible for testing, assume you have COVID-19 and follow the steps for what to do if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

* The highest-risk settings include:

  • hospitals and health care settings, including complex continuing care facilities and acute care facilities

  • congregate living settings, such as long-term care and retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, temporary foreign worker settings, correctional institutions and Provincial Demonstration Schools and hospital schools

  • home and community care settings

If you are in distress (e.g., significant trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting, or have a significant worsening of any chronic disease symptoms), do not go to an assessment centre or a COVID-19 Care and Testing Clinic. Go to the nearest emergency department or call 9-1-1.

Private testing options for international and domestic travellers

Following testing guidance from the Ministry of Health, Ottawa’s assessment centres no longer provide free COVID-19 tests for the purpose of pre-travel clearance.

Travellers should consult their travel carrier’s guidelines to ensure they have the most up-to-date information about requirements. Travellers should also refer to the federal government’s travel website for up-to-date expectations and requirements related to their destination.

If there is a requirement to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test when traveling domestically or internationally, it is important to ensure ample time for testing and receiving results. COVID-19 testing services are available for a fee, and travellers in need of a test are encouraged to search for convenient local options.

Travellers are also responsible for verifying COVID-19 testing requirements with their airline or the place they will be visiting.

 

Suggested private providers to get tested for pre-travel clearance:

Ottawa West Travel Medicine Clinic

In addition to pre-travel testing, the Ottawa West Travel Medicine Clinic also offers in-house PCR testing and doctor assessments to aid in issuing Certificates of Recovery and Fitness to Travel.

 

Pharmacie MediOne

Riverside Travel Medicine Clinic 

 

Appletree Medical Centres

  • 2150 Robertson Road, Ottawa

  • 356 Woodroffe Ave, Ottawa

  • 1595 Merivale Road, Ottawa

  • 2573 Baseline Road, Ottawa

  • 150 Katimavik Road, Ottawa

  • 225 Preston Street, Ottawa

  • Click here to book online

Immigration Physician Ottawa

Lacroix Medical Clinic 

  • 232 Boulevard Saint Joseph, Gatineau, Québec 

  • 819-778-1330 

 

Dynacare Clinics in Montreal  

  • 475, boulevard de la Côte-Vertu, Saint-Laurent, Québec 

  • 8560, rue Saint-Hubert, Montreal, Quebec 

 

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • Check online for locations 

 

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and there are fees associated at these clinics.

 

Booking a test for those without internet

Please note that the following phone numbers are reserved for residents who need to book an appointment for a COVID-19 test and who do not have access to the internet:

Additionally, individuals who do not have phone or internet access may book a future appointment in-person at an assessment centre. People experiencing homelessness, who are unable to book an appointment and meet the criteria for testing, may be tested at the assessment centre during regular hours of operation.

 

Residents should not go to the emergency department for COVID-19 testing.

For more information

About the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce

 The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce coordinates COVID-19 testing efforts across the city. Our work is based on guidance provided by Ontario Health, as part of carrying out the provincial government’s testing strategy.

 

We recognize the demand for testing has accelerated. Members of our community — including parents, long-term care home visitors and essential workers — need a clear and consistent source of information when it comes to where to get a COVID-19 test, and who should get tested.

 

To meet this growing and important need, the Taskforce will publish Ottawa’s Testing Update to keep the community up-to-date on ongoing testing guidelines and informed about any new directives or changes to Ottawa’s assessment centres.

Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce members

  • CHEO

  • City of Ottawa, Office of Emergency Management

  • Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association (EORLA)

  • Hôpital Montfort

  • Kids Come First Health Team

  • Ottawa Community Health Centres

  • Ottawa Health Team - Équipe Santé Ottawa

  • Ottawa Public Health

  • Public Health Ontario Laboratory (PHOL)

  • Queensway Carleton Hospital

  • The Ottawa Hospital

[1] Testing data compiled from the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association (EORLA) and Public Health Ontario Lab (PHOL). Includes PCR tests collected by assessment centres, care clinics, hospitals, and long-term care homes.

[2] EORLA data only

[3] The positivity rate is reported in alignment with Ottawa Public Health (Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard, page 5)

[4] Average turnaround from the time the test is received at the lab to the time of reporting (EORLA data only)

[5] Average turnaround from the time the swab is taken at a testing site to the time of reporting (EORLA data only) 

[6] Lab capacity is predicted daily based on the availability of staff, equipment and supplies

[7] Reported in alignment with Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 Ottawa Residents Tested.

Footnotes
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