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Infectious Diseases

Protect Yourself and Others

Testing

There are two main publicly funded tests available in Ontario to those who are eligible: rapid antigen tests and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

Rapid antigen test (RAT) kits are now available to the public for free from the health unit. Test kits can be picked up at all health unit offices (excluding the 80 Bradford St. clinic in Barrie) during regular business hours while supplies last. Health Canada has authorized extended expiration dates for various RAT products.  You may receive test kits that have received an expiration extension. Click here for more information about COVID-19 RATs and expiry extensions.

Although anyone can access a RAT kit, they are especially recommended for individuals who are at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, such as those over age 60 and those who have medical conditions or are immuno-compromised. This is because there is an effective oral anti-viral medication against COVID-19 for those higher risk groups. To find out in advance or when you fall ill if you would be eligible and recommended for this treatment if you test positive for COVID-19, go to the provincial anti-viral screener.

Office locations can be found here. Click here for locations to get a publicly funded PCR test.

Antiviral Treatments

Antiviral treatments are available for people with symptoms and a positive test result (PCR or rapid antigen test) who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19. These treatments must be taken immediately within the first five to seven days (depending on the treatment) of symptom onset. To find out in advance or when you fall ill if you would be eligible and recommended for this treatment if you test positive for COVID-19, go to the provincial anti-viral screener.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, follow up with a healthcare provider. 

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