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. 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
Follow the directions given to you by the testing location about how to access your test results.
If your test result is positive, public health will notify you by phone.
If you have a valid green Ontario photo health card, you can visit the Ontario government's online portal to access your test results online. If the results are not available on the portal, check again later as it can take approximately 7 days from your testing date for results to be available. Peel Public Health does not operate the online portal.
If you have an older health card (red and white health card) or don't have a health card, your test results may not be available online.
If your test results are not available online or you do not have internet access, contact your doctor or health care provider, or the testing location.
What to do while waiting for your test results
Stay home while you wait for your test results.
If you had symptoms when you were tested or you develop symptoms while waiting for your test result, you and the people you live with must self-isolate. Refer to the full instructions about who must self-isolate.
Learn what to do if you can't self-isolate in your home.
A negative test does not mean you can't get infected with COVID-19 in the future. After you're tested, continue to follow measures to protect yourself and others.
For full instructions, find out what to do after getting tested.
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.
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.
Learn what to do if you can't safely self-isolate at home. from the people you live with.
You can come out of self-isolation after 10 days if your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours and 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. You can come out of self-isolation after 20 days if you have no fever and your symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours.
Inform your close contacts, including the people you live with, that they must self-isolate for at least 14 days from their last exposure to you, even if they test negative for COVID-19. They must follow the instructions for close contacts
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.
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.
If your test results were negative, and you were exposed to a person who has or may have COVID-19:
Stay in self-isolation.
You can come out of self-isolation 14 days after you were last exposed to a person with COVID-19, if you have no symptoms or your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours and you don't have a fever (your temperature remains lower than 37.8 C without the use of medication).
If your test results were negative, and you were NOT exposed to a person with COVID-19:
- If you have symptoms, stay in self-isolation. You can come out of self-isolation 24 hours after your symptoms are gone.
- If you have no symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate.
If you develop new or worsening symptoms, you should get re-tested. Both you and your household contacts must then self-isolate until you receive your results.
You are not required to provide a negative test result in order 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.