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COVID-19 testing and next steps

Information on when to use different types of COVID-19 tests and how to access them.

There are 2 main types of COVID-19 tests in Ontario:

If you test positive on any test, you have COVID-19. Find out more about what your test result means and refer to instructions for individuals with COVID-19.

Molecular tests

PCR tests

PCR tests need to be processed in a lab. Samples can be collected by a health care professional or at home using a self-collection lab-based PCR kit. Get more information from the Ontario government about PCR tests.

In Ontario, publicly funded PCR tests are only available to eligible individuals. Find out if you are eligible for a PCR test and where you can access a test.

Rapid POC molecular tests

These tests are primarily used in rural and remote settings where access to lab-based PCR tests may be limited. Get more information from the Ontario government on POC molecular tests.

Rapid antigen tests

Rapid antigen tests give results quickly and do not require processing by a lab. They can be done at home and may be available for purchase at some pharmacies.

If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you can assume that you have COVID-19. You generally do not require a PCR test for confirmation and do not need to report your test results to Peel Public Health. Follow instructions for individuals with COVID-19.

Get more information from the Ontario government on rapid antigen tests and when they should be used