New Guidance on PCR Testing at NGH
The Ontario government announced that as of 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 new guidelines:
If you have COVID-19 symptoms
You are eligible for PCR testing if you have at least one COVID-19 symptom and you are:
- a hospitalized patient
- a patient in an emergency department, at the discretion of the treating clinician
- a patient-facing health care worker
- a staff member, volunteer, resident, inpatient, essential care provider, or visitor in a hospital or congregate living setting (including long-term care, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, temporary foreign worker settings and correctional institutions)
- an outpatient being considered for COVID-19 treatment
- under-housed or homeless
- someone who has been exposed, or a close contact of someone exposed, to a confirmed or suspected outbreak in a high-risk setting, including a hospital, long-term care, retirement home, other congregate living setting or institution, or other settings as directed by the local public health unit
- an elementary or secondary student or education staff who has received a PCR self-collection kit, if available through your school
If you do not have symptoms, you are eligible for PCR testing if you:
- are from a First Nation, Inuit, or Métis community or are travelling into these communities for work
- are unvaccinated and being admitted or transferred to or from a hospital or congregate living setting
- are someone who has been exposed, or a close contact of someone exposed, to a confirmed or suspected outbreak in a high-risk setting, including a hospital, long-term care, retirement home, other congregate living setting or institution, or other settings as directed by the local public health unit
- have written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager of OHIP or are a caregiver for someone who does
- are in a hospital, long-term care, retirement home or other congregate living setting, as directed by public health units, provincial guidance or other directives
If you are eligible for a test, please click here: https://bit.ly/3JG6ejF
Not eligible for PCR testing but have symptoms of COVID-19?
- 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 outlined by the Ontario government at https://www.ontario.ca/exposed.