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Your test results and next steps

How to get your COVID-19 test results and what to do if you test positive or negative, or have indeterminate test results.

It can take approximately 7 days to receive your COVID-19 test results. Your testing site should give you specific instructions on how to access your results.

All positive and negative results are sent to the testing site or health care provider that tested you. Peel Public Health receives all positive test results but does not have access to all negative test results.

Peel Public Health does not provide COVID-19 testing.

Get your test results

Rapid testing in the workplace

In Peel, rapid antigen testing, also known as antigen point-of-care testing (antigen POCT), for COVID-19 is available in certain workplaces. If you received a rapid test, follow the instructions given to you at the time of your test.

Employers can find more information about rapid testing in the workplace.

Other information

Peel Public Health will directly contact anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. Be sure to answer the call so we can provide further information and instructions to you. You may receive another call only if further information is needed related to your school or work setting.

If your results are positive for COVID-19:

You must stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days from the start of your symptoms, or at least 10 days from the date you got tested if you do not have symptoms. This applies even if you are fully vaccinated or previously positive. Follow public health direction. Children or those requiring support with daily living can isolate together with a caregiver.

Learn what to do if you can’t safely self-isolate at home.

You can come out of self-isolation after 10 days if:

  • Your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours.
  • You don’t have a fever (your temperature remains lower than 37.8 C without the use of medication).

If you were hospitalized with severe COVID-19 illness (for example, in an intensive care unit) or are severely immunocompromised, you must stay in self-isolation for at least 20 days. Follow the instructions provided to you by public health.

If your symptoms change or worsen, you may need to seek medical attention or get re-tested. If you're concerned and have questions, contact Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider.

You are not required to provide a negative test result in order to return to work, school, or other activities. Find out when to stop self-isolating and when to return to work or school.

Instructions for your close contacts

Inform your close contacts, including the people you live with, that they must self-isolate for at least 10 days from their last exposure to you, even if they test negative for COVID-19.

If they are fully vaccinated or previously positive, your close contacts do not need to self-isolate as long as they do not have symptoms unless otherwise directed by public health.

Get detailed instructions for close contacts, including when to get tested, how to properly self-isolate, next steps for your household members and what to do if they are fully vaccinated or previously positive.

A negative test does not automatically mean you can come out of self-isolation.

This is because the virus may still be incubating and may not have been detected by the test, or there may be other medical reasons for your symptoms.

Your test results were negative, and you were exposed to a person who has or may have COVID-19:

Stay in self-isolation for 10 days after your last exposure to the person with COVID-19 unless you are fully vaccinated or previously positive, do not have symptoms and were not otherwise directed by public health.

Get detailed instructions for close contacts, including when to get tested, how to properly self-isolate, next steps for your household members and what to do if they are fully vaccinated or previously positive.

You may need to get tested again, depending on when you were first tested.

  • If you don’t have symptoms and were tested earlier than 7 days from your last exposure to the person with COVID-19, repeat the test on or after day 7, even if you are fully vaccinated.
  • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms at any time or your symptoms worsen, repeat the test as soon as possible, even if you tested negative before and even if you are fully vaccinated or previously positive.

If you have symptoms, you can come out of self-isolation after 10 days if:

  • Your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours.
  • You don't have a fever (your temperature remains lower than 37.8 C without the use of medication).
  • You have not had any digestive issues (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain) for at least 48 hours.

If you have symptoms and have received a negative test result, the people you live with should stay home, except for essential reasons until your symptoms have resolved as described. This includes picking up groceries or prescriptions

Your test results were negative, and you were NOT exposed to a person with COVID-19:

If you have symptoms, stay in self-isolation. Children or those requiring support with daily living can isolate together with a caregiver.

You can come out of isolation if:

  • Your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours.
  • You don't have a fever (your temperature remains lower than 37.8 C without the use of medication).
  • You have not had any digestive issues (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain) for at least 48 hours.

If you have no symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate, but should continue to self-monitor for symptoms. Get tested again if you develop symptoms.

You are not required to provide a negative test result to return to work, school, or other activities.

Learn what to do if you can't safely self-isolate at home from the people you live with.

Indeterminate test results mean your results were not confirmed as positive or negative. Regardless of whether you have symptoms or not, you should get tested again to determine if you have COVID-19 even if you are fully vaccinated or previously positive.

If you have had COVID-19 symptoms at any time since testing, you are considered to be a ‘probable’ case of COVID-19 and will need to continue to self-isolate and follow the same instructions as those who test positive for COVID-19 even if you are fully vaccinated or previously positive.

If you did not have symptoms since you were tested, you must continue to self-isolate. If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, refer to the full instructions for close contacts to find out when you should get tested. Check where to get tested.