Last week the Province updated their COVID testing guidelines to prioritize those who are at the greatest risk, while shifting away from untargeted asymptomatic testing. This is consistent with the guidance Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has been providing: that only those who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been directed by public health should seek testing. This guidance exists so that testing capacity is best deployed to prevent and control outbreaks and identify people who need treatment and support.
This new guidance along with increasing access to testing through pharmacies, mobile testing for schools with larger numbers of high risk contacts, and longer hours at assessment centres is helping, however, we are still seeing many people showing up to assessment centres for testing who don’t meet the recommended criteria.
Please: if you are only seeking a COVID-19 test for peace of mind, reconsider seeking testing and be assured that if you are keeping two metres distance from others, wearing a mask indoors and keeping your hands clean, you are unlikely to encounter the COVID-19 virus.