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Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

Only certain people now qualify for an Assessment Centre test, and there are a limited number of rapid antigen tests available. If you have symptoms and you cannot get tested, you should assume that you have COVID-19.

The testing options below may be available to you. Assessment Centre tests are more accurate than Rapid Antigen Tests. If you are eligible for a test at an Assessment Centre, we recommend choosing that option.

Who can get a COVID-19 test at an Assessment Centre?

COVID-19 tests at Assessment Centres are now only available to people in the groups below. If you receive a negative test from an Assessment Centre (if eligible) AND your symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting), you MAY leave self-isolation.

If you are not eligible for a COVID-19 test at an Assessment Centre, a rapid antigen test is your best option.

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 and fall into one of these categories are eligible for testing at COVID-19 Assessment Centres:

  • People aged 70+
  • People aged 60+ who have less than three doses of COVID-19 vaccine
  • People who are immunocompromised
  • Adults aged 18 years and older who have had less than three doses of COVID-19 vaccine and have one of these risk conditions: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, congestive heart failure, chronic respiratory disease (including cystic fibrosis), cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, sickle cell disease, moderate or severe kidney disease, moderate or severe liver disease
  • Anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding
  • People who are underhoused or homeless
  • Indigenous persons (First Nations, Inuit, or Métis), Black persons, and members of other racialized communities
  • First responders, including fire, police, and paramedics 
  • Patient-facing healthcare workers and their household members
  • Staff in highest risk settings and their household members. Highest risk settings are hospitals (including paramedic services), home and community care, congregate living, long term care and retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, correctional institutions, Provincial Demonstration schools, and hospital schools.
  • Volunteers, residents and inpatients, essential care providers, and visitors in highest risk settings (see list at previous bullet point)
  • Staff and students in Provincial Demonstration Schools
  • International agriculture workers in congregate living settings

People who fall into one of these categories are eligible, even if they do not have symptoms:

  • People who are from a First Nation, Inuit, Métis community, and/or who self-identify as First Nation, Inuit, and Métis, and their household members
  • People travelling into First Nation, Inuit, Métis communities for work

If eligible, call your local Assessment Centre:

  • Kirkland Lake, Englehart and area: 705-568-2127
  • Temagami and area: 705-569-3244
  • Temiskaming Shores and area: 705-648-1844

In addition to Assessment Centre locations, free PCR tests are now offered at some LifeLabs locations. Eligibility criteria is the same as the list above for tests at the Assessment Centre. People who require COVID-19 tests prior to travel are not eligible for a test at this location.

In our district, free PCR tests are available at this location:

  • New Liskeard LifeLabs: Appointments must be made online here

How can I get my test results from the Assessment Centre?

To see your results, visit the Ontario Government’s COVID-19 Test Results webpage.

If you cannot access your results online, call the Assessment Centre where you were tested.

  • Kirkland Lake, Englehart and area: 705-568-2127
  • Temagami and area: 705-569-3244
  • Temiskaming Shores and area: 705-648-1844

Where can I get a rapid antigen test?

Free rapid antigen tests are available at select locations in Timiskaming. 

Free rapid antigen tests may be available at the following locations, depending on supply. Search the Government of Ontario list of rapid antigen test locations for updates. 

  • New Liskeard: Findlay’s Drug Store 705-647-8186
  • New Liskeard: Chartrand’s Your Independent Grocery (at Customer Service) 705-647-8844 
  • New Liskeard: Food Basics (at cash register) 705-647-7649
  • Haileybury: Smallman IDA Pharmacy 705-672-5261
  • Englehart: RX DrugMart 705-544-8054
  • Kirkland Lake: Kirkland Pharmacy 705-567-3223
  • Kirkland Lake: Pettenuzzo’s Your Independent Grocery (at Customer Service) 705-567-4939

Rapid antigen tests may also be available through one of these options:

  • Booked appointments at local pharmacies in our district. There is a cost for these tests, and they are only available for people without COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Some workplaces have rapid antigen tests available for workers. In some cases, the tests may also be used by workers’ household members.

The following pharmacies book appointments for rapid antigen tests for people without COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Temiskaming Shores: Chartrand’s Your Independent Grocer. Call 705-647-8844. Test costs $40 + tax and offers same-day results.
  • Temiskaming Shores: Findlay’s Drug Store. Call 705-647-8186, Ext. 4. Test costs $40 + tax and results in 15 minutes. 
  • Temiskaming Shores: Walmart Pharmacy. Call 705-647-6344, Ext. 1, then Ext. 0. Test costs $19.97 and offers results in 15 minutes.
  • Kirkland Lake: Pettenuzzo’s Your Independent Grocer. Call 705-567-4941. Test costs $40 + tax and offers same-day results.

How do I use a rapid antigen test? 

Rapid antigen tests should only be used for the following reasons:

  • For screening people without symptoms. Frequent, repeated rapid antigen testing of people without symptoms and without known exposure to someone with COVID-19, with the goal of identifying cases that have yet to show symptoms or have no symptoms. 
  • For testing people with symptoms. When used by people with symptoms, rapid antigen tests can help them know how likely it is that the symptoms are caused by COVID-19 and whether or not they should isolate. A positive test result is highly indicative that you have COVID-19 and that you must isolate, but a negative test does not necessarily mean that you can leave self-isolation. For more information, see “Understanding my rapid antigen test results,” below.
  • While one-off testing is generally not recommended (for example, before a social gathering), if you choose to use a rapid antigen test in this way, complete it as close to the event as possible and know that a negative result could be a false negative.
  • For “test-to-work” purposes to meet critical workforce needs in the highest risk settings, as directed by your employer.

The Ontario Science Table recommends taking samples in both your mouth and your nose for the best results. These instructions may be different from the instructions found in your test kit, and we understand that it’s confusing to receive differing instructions. The Ontario Science Table considers taking mouth and nose samples to be a best practice for testing for the Omicron variant. 

To learn how to take your sample, see the Ontario Science Table video.

Understanding my rapid antigen test results

If your rapid antigen test result is positive: With widespread community transmission of COVID-19, a positive rapid antigen test is almost certainly a true positive. If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you DO NOT need to confirm your test at the Assessment Centre unless you work in a high-risk setting. For a list of eligible workers in high-risk settings, see Assessment Centre eligibility criteria, below. 

If your rapid antigen test result is negative: Rapid antigen tests are less sensitive and may miss some COVID-19 infections. If you are self-isolating due to symptoms and if rapid antigen testing is available to you, you may leave self-isolation only in this situation: 

If two consecutive rapid antigen tests, separated by 24-48 hours, are both negative, you are less likely to have COVID-19 infection. Self-isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting). The household members of the symptomatic individual with two negative tests may also discontinue self-isolation. 

Where can I get a COVID-19 test for travel?

Please visit our Travel Recommendations webpage for information about COVID-19 testing prior to travel.

What do I do if I test positive?

Click here for details about what to do if you test positive for COVID-19.