If you think you may have COVID-19 or were exposed to the virus, follow these steps to take care of yourself and protect others.

Visit the website: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/exposed for details and resources.

Eligible for COVID-19 Testing?

Effective December 31, publicly-funded PCR testing will be available only for high-risk individuals who are symptomatic and/or are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including for the purposes of confirming a COVID-19 diagnosis to begin treatment, and workers and residents in the highest risk settings, as well as vulnerable populations.

Members of the general public with mild symptoms are asked not to seek testing. Please review the provincial list of eligible individuals.

In addition, most individuals with a positive result from a rapid antigen test will no longer be required or encouraged to get a confirmatory PCR or rapid molecular test.

Where and When to Get Tested

Anyone eligible for a test under the provincial testing guidelines can get one at no cost. Depending on your situation, you may be able to get a COVID-19 test at:

  • COVID-19 Public Assessment Centres
  • Participating pharmacies
  • Participating community labs (inclusive of travel-related testing needs)

Some locations may have certain restrictions (for example, some are unable to test young children).

Public Assessment Centres

To ensure that resources are available to focus on high-risk settings, protecting our most vulnerable Ontarians and helping to keep critical infrastructure services running, publicly funded PCR testing is available to individuals that meet at least one of the criteria below.

If you have tested positive on a rapid antigen test, you don’t need a PCR test to confirm the result.

You can get a free COVID-19 test at a Public Assessment Centre if any of the following apply to you:

  • Symptoms and exposure
    • you are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that are not related to other know causes or conditions
    • you have been exposed to a COVID-19-positive person (if you know when you were exposed, get tested seven days after your last exposure and stay in self-isolation. If you do not know when you were exposed, get tested right away)
    • you have received a COVID Alert app exposure notification
    • you are a resident or worker in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified by your local public health unit
  • Long-term care
    • you are a worker (including support workers), visitor (including caregivers), or government inspector of a long-term care home
  • Temporary Foreign Workers
    • you are a temporary foreign worker
  • Indigenous
    • you are a person who identifies as Indigenous
    • you are a person travelling into remote/isolated First Nation and Indigenous communities for work purposes
  • Surgery and other reasons
    • you need a test before a scheduled (non-urgent or emergent) surgery in a region with high community transmission (ask your health care provider)
    • you have been recommended by your health care provider to get tested before treatment (for example, hematopoietic cell therapy, radiation, or systemic cancer treatment, etc.)
    • you are required to be tested before being admitted to a hospital, long-term care home or other congregate living setting/institution (including group homes and equivalent higher-risk settings, such as homeless shelters, community supported living, disability-specific communities/congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices, other shelters)
    • you are seeking a confirmatory test after receiving a positive antigen point-of-care test (such as a rapid test) or positive self-test result
    • you, and one accompanying caregiver, have written prior approval from the General Manager, OHIP, for out-of-country medical services
    • you belong to any other targeted testing group as outlined in guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health
    • you are a resident of a homeless shelter

You are not eligible for free diagnostic testing if you are seeking testing:

  • as part of a vaccine policy or mandate
  • to satisfy a travel requirement, unless you are a temporary foreign worker returning to your country of origin or are travelling into and out of remote/isolated First Nation and Indigenous communities for work purposes
  • for entry to a private venue, event or gathering which requires a negative test result to enter

Private COVID-19 tests, such as those needed for outbound international travel, are available for purchase throughout Ontario.

If you are not eligible for a test but have symptoms of COVID-19, assume that you have COVID-19 and isolate with your household for five days if you are fully vaccinated and otherwise healthy or are under 12 years old. If you are not fully vaccinated or are immunocompromised, isolate for 10 days. If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, follow the guidance here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/exposed

Public Assessment Centre Locations

All Public Assessment Centres are accessed by appointment only. Please follow the instructions below to book an appointment at a location you choose.
*NOTE: Hours are subject to change due to holidays.

Sarnia Lambton COVID-19 Assessment Centres

LOCATIONHOURS
Twin Bridges Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic
153 Christina Street South, Sarnia
 
Book your appointment
Phone for appointments ONLY if you cannot access the internet.
Call: 226-776-9030
French and sign language is available.
Monday to Thursday
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Saturday
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Rapids Family Health Team
1150 Pontiac Drive, Sarnia

Book your appointment
Phone appointments ONLY if you cannot access the internet.
Call: 519-491-5395
Monday & Tuesday    
8:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
1:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Wednesday & Thursday
11:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
3:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Friday
8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Rural Lambton COVID-19 Assessment Centres

LOCATIONHOURS
Plympton-Wyoming Health & Wellness Centre
596 Broadway Street, Wyoming
 
Please book online by going to app.getcorigan.ca
Choose from available times and schedule tests when it is convenient for you.
If unable to book online, email covidclinic@clfht.com.
Spanish and Arabic language is available.
Monday & Wednesday
12:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
(closed 4:30pm-5:30pm for supper)

Tuesday & Thursday
4:15 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Friday
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(closed 12:00pm-1:00pm for lunch)

Saturday
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Grand Bend Area Community Assessment Centre
69 Main St. E, Grand Bend
 
Call: 519-238-2362 or
book a COVID-19 test appointment online
Monday to Friday
1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Indigenous Health Centre – Assessment Centre for Indigenous Peoples

*Indigenous Health Centres are only offering testing to members of their First Nation Communities.

Pharmacy Testing Centres

Pharmacy PCR testing may be offered to individuals as outlined in the COVID-19 Provincial Testing Guidance.

Participating Pharmacy Testing Centre Locations

NOTE: appointments are required please call ahead to book your appointment.

Find your closest Ontario testing location to get a COVID-19 test. Search by postal code.

Rapid antigen testing

Rapid antigen testing may be used for routine, repeated screening of people with no symptoms to identify and prevent cases of COVID-19 in hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and other high-risk settings as an added layer of safety. Rapid antigen testing may also be used to test people with symptoms to find out the likelihood that their symptoms are related to COVID-19.

If you or someone you live with gets a positive result on a rapid antigen test, you no longer need to book a PCR test to confirm your results. If you are fully vaccinated and otherwise healthy, or are under 12 years old, isolate for five days starting when the symptoms began or from the date of the test, whichever came first. Those who are not fully vaccinated or are immunocompromised must isolate for 10 days.

A positive result:

  • is a good indication that you have COVID-19
  • does not need to be confirmed by a PCR test
  • does not need to be reported to a public health unit unless otherwise directed by public health

A negative result:

  • on a single test cannot rule out COVID-19 infection by itself
  • if you have symptoms, should be followed by a second test 24 to 48 hours later if available. If your second test taken within 48 hours of your first negative result is also negative, this most likely means you do not have COVID-19

If you feel unwell but do not have symptoms of COVID-19, you and your household should isolate until your symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if the symptoms affect the digestive system).

Testing For Travel

There are fees associated with travel testing. Consult with the service provider for more information.

Locations offering COVID-19 tests for international travel:

PCR Testing

Note: Most airlines require PCR testing. Confirm which type of test is required for the airline and country you are travelling to.

Rapid Antigen Testing

Note: Antigen testing is not accepted for entry into Canada, but may be in the country you are travelling to. Understand the testing requirements before booking your travel test.

Proof of a negative test is required pre-departure. 

**PCR test results are often posted within 48 hours, but cannot be guaranteed within the 72-hour flight departure timeframe. Rapid COVID-19 antigen testing is also available. In order to qualify for either test you must not have any COVID-19 symptoms, have not been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and not within a facility that is in a COVID-19 outbreak.

Travel Testing Requirements

All travellers 5 years of age or older, regardless of citizenship, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada. The PCR test must be taken within 72 hours of:

  • Land Entry: 
    • Entering into Canada; with limited exceptions such as commercial truckers. 
  • Flying:
    • Scheduled departure time of your flight to Canada. Airlines will refuse boarding to travellers who are unable to provide a valid molecular test result.  
    • If you have a connecting flight the test must be conducted within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your last direct flight to Canada. You may need to schedule the test in your transit city.

Refer to https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid for more information on travel testing or go to the Lambton Public Health Travel Restrictions and Guidance webpage for general travel information.

Individuals who DO NOT HAVE TO GET TESTED

If the above criteria does not apply to you, and if you are not required to get tested as part of a work mandate, you do not have to get tested. Do not get tested if the following applies to you:

  • Low risk individuals who are not experiencing symptoms.
  • Low risk individuals who have not had close contact with a confirmed case of been in a setting with known exposure.
  • Individuals visiting a Long-Term Care facility for an outdoor visit.

All additional guidance can be found on the Ministry of Health’s updated guidance document.

Test Results

Lambton Public Health will contact you only if you have a positive COVID-19 test result. All individuals can access their test results from the provincial website: covid-19.ontario.ca.

Test results are typically available in 2-10 days and depends on testing volume at the time. Lambton Public Health does not receive test results sooner than what is available on the provincial website. Please only call Lambton Public Health for test results if:

  • You or your dependents do not have a health card
  • Your test result is taking longer than 10 days
  • You are unable to access the website

If you have difficulties accessing the portal for your test result, please call Lambton Public Health at 519-383-8331. If you have received a negative test result, please continue to follow public health safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Direction will be provided if you have a positive COVID-19 test result.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens AFTER I get the Test?

If you have any symptoms, you need to self-isolate until you have no symptoms for at least 24 hours and have received a negative test result. If you don’t have symptoms and you have not been told to self-isolate, please continue to self-monitor yourself for symptoms until you receive your results.

View more information about what happens after you get tested.

Can the test tell me if I have ever had COVID-19?

The test can only tell you if you have COVID-19 at the time of the test. The test will not tell you if you had COVID-19 in the past.

How will I find out about the test result?

You can use the online portal, and enter your information to receive your test result. If your test result is positive, you will be contacted by Lambton Public Health for follow-up.

What happens if I have symptoms after I get a test result?

You should get retested if you develop symptoms. Please contact the assessment centre to schedule another test.