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This is who can and can't get a COVID-19 test in Ontario


The Ontario government has announced that starting Friday, Dec. 31, publicly funded PCR tests will only be available to high-risk individuals who are symptomatic and/or are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Here are the groups eligible for a PCR test:

- Symptomatic people who fall into one of the following groups:

  • Hospitalized patients
  • Patients in Emergency Departments, at the discretion of the treating clinician
  • Patient-facing health care workers
  • Staff, residents, essential care providers, and visitors in hospitals and congregate living settings, including long-term care, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, temporary foreign worker settings, and correctional institutions
  • Outpatients for whom COVID-19 treatment is being considered
  • Underhoused or homeless

- People who are from First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities and individuals travelling into these communities for work

- Symptomatic elementary and secondary students and education staff who have received a PCR self-collection kit through their school

- People on admission/transfer to or from hospital or congregate living setting

- High-risk contacts and asymptomatic/symptomatic people in the context of confirmed or suspected outbreaks in high-risk settings, including hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes, other congregate living settings and institutions, and other 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, OHIP

- Asymptomatic testing in hospital, long-term care, retirement homes and other congregate living settings and Institutions as per provincial guidance and/or Directives

Also, members of the general public with mild symptoms are not asked to seek testing.

Those who have a COVID-19 positive test result from a rapid antigen test will no longer be required or encouraged to get a confirmatory PCR or rapid molecular test. Top Stories

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