Ottawa’s Testing Update

Updated: December 5, 2022, 3:30 p.m. EDT

The next Testing Update will be released on Thursday, December 8

Highlights.png

Highlights

624

Average daily PCR

tests collected

(7 day trend)

622

Average daily lab tests processed

(7 day trend) [1]

0

Number of tests in progress as of December 5 [2]

9.8%

Positivity rate in

Ottawa residents

(7 day trend) [3]

7 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

*NEW: 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)

*NEW: 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)

*NEW: 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: Brewer Park COVID-19 Testing Centre closing on November 30

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

 

The Brewer Park COVID-19 Testing Centre originally opened its doors in March 2020, just days after the pandemic was declared. For nearly three years, Brewer was a pillar in Ottawa’s COVID-19 response, seeing hundreds of Ottawa residents daily, and at its peak, testing over a thousand people a day. Recently, however, Brewer has seen a steady and consistent decline in testing appointments. Therefore, the decision was made to close Brewer and reallocate its resources and staff where they are needed most.

 

For those seeking care with COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms, below is the full list of Care Clinics and Assessment Centres in the Ottawa-area: 

  • The Ottawa Hospital Clinical Assessment Centre

       Age: Anyone 14+ years old

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

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

       Sunday, CLOSED

       Call 613-798-5555 ext. 19507 to book an appointment

  • East Ottawa Kids COVID Care Clinic

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

       Location: 4289 Innes Road, Orléans

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

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

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

       Age: Children and youth between 2 months and 18 years old

       Location: CHEO Main Campus — 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa

       Hours: Every day, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm

  • North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre (Kemptville)

       Age: Anyone over six months old

       Location: 15 Campus Drive, Kemptville

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

 

  • West Ottawa Clinical Assessment Centre

       Age: Anyone over six months old

       Location: 2625 Draper Avenue

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

  • Ottawa-Area Pharmacies

       Visit ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations to find your closest pharmacy offering COVID-19 testing

The Testing Taskforce and its partners will continue to monitor the demand for COVID-19 testing and will adjust as needed to meet Ottawa’s testing needs. Like 2020, if testing demand rises again, The Ottawa Hospital is prepared to ramp up COVID-19 testing services in a matter of days. 

 

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

*NEW: The Ottawa Hospital Clinical Assessment Centre drops its age minimum to 14 years

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

The TOH CAC provides treatment and in-person assessments for residents experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including basic diagnostic tests such as chest x-rays, ECGs, basic bloodwork, and referrals to IV therapy or antivirals. Appointments can be booked Monday to Saturday, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm by calling 613-798-5555 ext. 19507.

For more information on booking an appointment and to find the assessment centre or care clinic closest to you, please visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/CovidTesting.

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?

Paxlovid is given to adults who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. Your risk of serious illness is determined based on a combination of your health, age, and vaccination status, based on an assessment from a health care provider.

The following higher risk groups are eligible to be tested and assessed for antiviral treatments, such as Paxlovid, in Ontario:

  • Immunocompromised (have an immune system that is weakened by a health condition or medications)

  • 70 years of age and older

  • 60 year of age and older with less than three vaccine doses

  • 18 years of age or older with less than three vaccine doses and at least one risk condition:

    • Diabetes

    • Obesity

    • Heart disease

    • Hypertension

    • Congestive heart failure

    • Chronic lung disease (including cystic fibrosis)

    • Moderate or severe kidney disease

    • Intellectual or developmental disability 

    • Cerebral palsy

    • Sickle cell disease

    • Moderate or severe liver disease

    • Pregnancy

 

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

 

Health care providers may also determine if antiviral treatment is appropriate for patients based on individual circumstances even if they do not belong to one of the groups listed. Paxlovid prescriptions can also be filled at many participating pharmacies across the region.

 

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 COVID-19 test

As per provincial testing guidance, you are eligible for PCR COVID-19 testing if you have COVID-19 symptoms and are any of the following:

  • a patient-facing health care worker

  • a patient in an emergency department, at the discretion of the treating clinician

  • a staff member, volunteer, resident, inpatient, essential care provider, or visitor in the highest risk settings*

  • a home and community care worker

  • a Provincial Demonstration School and hospital school worker

  • someone at higher-risk for severe COVID-19 who would be eligible for outpatient treatment (treatment outside hospital) following an assessment and positive test

  • someone who lives with a patient-facing health care worker and/or a worker in the highest risk settings*

  • an outpatient being considered for COVID-19 treatment

  • an outpatient who requires a diagnostic test for clinical management

  • a temporary foreign worker living in a congregate setting

  • underhoused or experiencing homelessness

  • pregnant

  • a first responder, including firefighters, police and paramedics

  • other individuals as directed by the local public health unit based on outbreak investigations in high risk settings, etc.*

 

Whether you have symptoms or not, you are eligible for PCR COVID-19 testing if you:

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

  • are an individual travelling into First Nation, Inuit, Métis communities for work

  • are being admitted or transferred to or from a hospital or congregate living setting

  • are a close contact of someone in a confirmed or suspected outbreak in a highest risk setting, or other settings as directed by the local public health unit

  • have written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager of OHIP or are a caregiver for someone who does

  • are in a hospital, long-term care, retirement home or other congregate living setting, as directed by public health units, provincial guidance or other directives

 

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.