fbpx

Temporary COVID-19 testing in Grenville on October 6, 2020. Photo: James Morgan

COVID-19 testing rules and locations differ between Ontario and Québec

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) coordinates COVID-19 testing and assessment across its territory in collaboration with hospitals, medical clinics, and paramedics in Prescott and Russell and Cornwall-SD&G.  Testing in Ontario is limited to people with COVID-19 symptoms at this time.  Before making a testing appointment, Ontario residents should first consult the self-assessment, available at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/

The local testing and assessment centres are located in Hawkesbury at 750 Laurier Street (to book online, go to https://epicapps.toh.ca/mychart/openscheduling in Alexandria at 62 Anik Street (call 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120 to book) in Limoges (water park) at 2015 Calypso Street, and in Rockland at 2741 Chamberland Street. Testing and assessment centres are also located in Cornwall and Winchester. Effective October 7, the Casselman testing centre will be closed and replaced by the Limoges facility.

Paramedics will test individuals at their homes if they are unable to go to a testing and assessment centre.

EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said that the move to only testing symptomatic individuals will help prioritize people who need testing the most.  He said that testing for asymptomatic people will soon be available at local pharmacies and with recently approved faster testing methods.

COVID-19 testing and assessment in Québec has been by appointment all along, unless it is at specially designated, temporary centres that operate in selected communities for one or two days at a time.

As of October 5, 63,926 people had been tested for COVID-19 across the EOHU’s jurisdiction.  Across Ontario as of October 5, 4,169,346 tests had been performed and 42,031 of those had been performed within the past 24 hours.

Wait times for testing results are long.  Some individuals are waiting up to four days for their results.  Roumeliotis has acknowledged that the public health laboratory in Ottawa that analyzes the test samples is having difficulty keeping up with demand.

Testing in Québec

Testing in Québec is open to people who think they have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have COVID-19 symptoms.  Symptoms are not required for people to be tested.

On October 4, 20,339 test samples were taken in Québec.

If residents of Argenteuil or anywhere else across the territory served by the CISSS des Laurentides regional health authority wish to be tested, they have to call the CISSS des Laurentides or make the appointment online.  The closest centres to Argenteuil are located at 609 9e Rue in St-Jerome or at 610 boul. Curé-Boivin in Boisbriand.  The other facilities are located further away in St-Agathe-des-Monts and Mont-Laurier.  The number to call for an appointment is 1-888-222-5075 or by completing the online form.

Mobile, temporary testing is done periodically.  The CISSS des Laurentides often uses a converted transit bus and tempo shelters to provide drive-through service whenever possible.  Recent temporary testing facilities were held at the arena in Lachute on October 5 and outside the village office building in Grenville on October 6.  The temporary clinics only have the capacity to do approximately 100 tests per day.

Before Québec residents make an appointment for testing, they should first go through the Québec government’s self-assessment, found at: https://covid19.quebec.ca/surveys/cdd2/introduction.

Cars lined up for COVID-19 testing in Grenville on October 6, 2020. Photo: James Morgan.

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

jamesmorgan has 1127 posts and counting.See all posts by jamesmorgan