New guidelines make Ontario the most accessible province for COVID-19 testing
The Province has implemented a new COVID-19 testing plan, which now gives Ontario the most open testing criteria in the country.
According to the new guidelines, anyone who meets one or more of the following criteria is instructed to get tested:
- have at least one of the symptoms of COVID-19
- do not have symptoms but are concerned you might have been exposed
- do not have symptoms but think you are at risk through your employment (for example, if you are an essential or health care worker)
- would like to be tested
Additionally, as of May 24, Ontarians no longer need a referral to get tested at one of the more than 130 testing centres across the province--anyone can get tested and no one will be denied.
These changes come after many residents voiced concern regarding Ontario’s rigid testing requirements and screening measures, which resulted in the province falling behind most others in the number of tests performed.
Further, testing services are free, and those wishing to access the service do not need an OHIP card.
Those who wish to do so may take an online screening test to determine if they should get tested, but they are not required.
Moreover, those who have not had contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 when presenting for testing, will not be required to self-isolate. However, everyone is encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days regardless of their test result.
Anyone who begins to develop symptoms is instructed to self-isolate and contact their local public health unit for further advice.
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