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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.

If you are sick, you should stay home. Under updated self-isolation guidance, if you have symptoms, you should self-isolate until you have no fever and your symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting). This will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses. Click here for more information.

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 available to people who have COVID-19 symptoms and belong to any of the following groups:

  • People aged 60 years of age and older
  • People aged 18 years of age and older who have at least one condition that puts them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease
  • People aged 18 years of age and older who are unvaccinated or have not completed their first round of vaccinations (e.g., their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines)
  • People aged 18 years of age and older who have received their first round of vaccinations (or primary series) AND received their last COVID-19 vaccine dose more than 6 months ago AND have not had a COVID-19 infection in the past 6 months
  • People who are immunocompromised
  • Pregnant people
  • Patients seeking emergency medical care or other outpatients where the health care professional judges it to be necessary
  • Health care workers providing patient care
  • Staff, volunteers, residents/inpatients, essential care providers, and visitors in highest risk settings including hospitals and congregate living settings with medically and socially vulnerable individuals, including international agriculture workers.
  • Household members of staff in highest risk settings and patient-facing health care workers
  • Home and community care workers
  • People who are underhoused or experiencing homelessness
  • First responders, including firefighters, police, and paramedics

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

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
  • Individuals travelling into First Nation, Inuit, Métis communities for work
  • On admission/transfer to or from hospital or congregate living setting
  • People in the context of confirmed or suspected outbreaks in highest risk 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, Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
  • Any patient with a scheduled surgical procedure requiring a general anaesthetic 24-48 hours prior to procedure date
  • Newborns born to people with confirmed COVID-19 at the time of birth within 24 hours of delivery, with a repeat test at 48 hours after birth if baseline test is negative, or if the parental test results are pending at the time of discharge
  • People 24-48 hours prior to treatment for cancer or prior to hemodialysis, at the discretion of the treating clinician
  • Staff of highest risk settings who, within the last 10 days, have had close contact with an individual with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 or an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, for the purposes of facilitating return to work, as directed by sector-specific guidance or Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) or Occupational Health staff.

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. A positive test result is highly indicative that you have COVID-19, but a negative test does not necessarily mean that you do not have COVID-19. For more information, see Understanding my rapid antigen test results.
  • 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. People with a positive rapid antigen test result may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment.

If your rapid antigen test result is negative: Rapid antigen tests are less sensitive and may miss some COVID-19 infections. If you have symptoms and rapid antigen testing is available to you, you are less likely to have COVID-19 if two consecutive rapid antigen tests, separated by 24 hours, are both negative. If you have a negative rapid antigen test result and are eligible for COVID-19 treatment, it is strongly recommended that you contact your local Assessment Center for further testing, since there is a limited time from the start of your symptoms to begin treatment.

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.