COVID-19 Assessment and Testing Centres in Waterloo Region

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Anyone experiencing severe symptoms is advised to immediately call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department.

Before going to a clinical assessment or testing centre

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Clinical assessment and testing centres

In Ontario, publicly funded PCR testing is available to eligible individuals at clinical assessment centres, non-clinical assessment centres (testing-only), and participating community labs and pharmacies. Some individuals who are eligible for PCR testing may also be eligible for COVID-19 antiviral treatment assessment.  

Clinical assessment centres

Clinical assessment centres provide care to eligible patients with moderate COVID-19 symptoms and can perform antiviral treatment assessments.

Search for clinical assessment locations in Ontario

Testing-only locations

Non-clinical assessment centres, participating pharmacies and community labs can perform PCR testing for eligible individuals, but not antiviral treatment assessments.

Search for testing locations in Ontario (includes pharmacies)

After you are tested

The testing location will give you instructions that are specific to your situation. Continue to follow the provincial guidance for exposure and isolation as it applies to you.

Region of Waterloo Public Health offers a Safe Voluntary Isolation Site to support individuals who are unable to isolate safely at home. 

COVID-19 Test Results

PCR test samples are sent to a lab and results are often ready within 48 hours, although this timeframe is not guaranteed. Some clinical assessment centres use rapid molecular testing, which can provide diagnostic results in about 15 minutes.

Learn more about how samples are tested for COVID-19.

Depending on the testing location, you may be able to get your result:

  • online on the test results website, if you have a photo (green) health card
  • on another website that the testing location will tell you about
  • by phone

If you test positive for COVID-19

  • You must isolate if you have tested positive for the virus.
  • If you have tested positive on a rapid antigen test, you don’t need a PCR test to confirm the result, unless directed by a health care provider.
  • Antiviral treatments are now available for some eligible individuals who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19. These treatments must be taken within the first five to seven days of symptom onset. Visit our COVID-19 treatments page for more information.
  • If you’ve tested positive on a PCR test or rapid molecular test, a public health representative may contact you either by phone call or text message and ask you questions.
  • All people that you were in close contact with 48 hours before you developed COVID-19 symptoms (or 48 hours before your test if you never had symptoms) should be informed that you have tested positive.
  • If you develop severe symptoms requiring medical attention, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, call 911 and inform them that you have tested positive for COVID-19.

If you test negative for COVID-19

  • A negative PCR result means the virus was not detected at the time of your test. Rapid antigen tests are not as sensitive as PCR tests, and may show a negative result even if you have the virus.
  • If you were exposed to a COVID-19-positive person but test negative, find out what to do next.
  • You should continue to follow COVID-19 public health measures, including wearing a face covering, frequent handwashing and maintaining physical distance from anyone you do not live with. Pay attention to your health to note if anything changes. 

Rapid antigen testing (rapid testing, point of care or POC testing)

Details on rapid antigen tests and where to find them can be found on the provincial website

For individuals
For employers or organizations providing private POC testing
  • Organizations (i.e., workplaces) that participate in rapid testing assume any operational, medical, and/or legal responsibilities relating to this initiative.
  • You must have a procedure in place to provide follow up on test results.
  • You must have clear processes in place to respond, should any individuals in your organization be exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19. 
  • For more information about participating please review the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Guidance: Considerations for Privately Initiated Testing
  • Those eligible can continue to receive a free PCR test for COVID-19 at assessment centres, participating pharmacies and community labs
  • Rapid testing kits are available through the StaySafe and ChamberCheck programs. 
  • Learn about COVID-19 testing program (Provincial Antigen Screening Program) for organizations and find out about eligibility, training, on-site rapid testing and reporting requirements.
  • Prior to implementation, please understand the local reporting requirements by the Public Health Unit.
Resources for organizations prior to implementation

Testing for travel

Visit Travelling outside of Ontario for more information on travelling to another province or territory and for guidance on travelling to an international destination. For information on Canadian testing requirements, visit COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders.

COVID-19 tests for travellers are available through private providers for a fee. Region of Waterloo Public Health does not maintain a list of private laboratory services.

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