Primary Care


Visit the Ministry of Health – Guidance for the Health Sector website for:

  • case definition
  • health sector resources (guidance for acute care; community labs; community pharmacies; consumption and treatment services; home and community providers; hospice care; independent health facilities; labour, delivery and newborn care; mental health and addiction service providers; paramedic services; primary care providers; and immunization services).
  • long-term care home/retirement homes resources
  • symptoms, screening, and testing resources
  • case and contact management resources
  • mental health resources
  • guidance for other sectors

Visit the Ministry of Health – COVID-19 Orders, Directives, Memorandums and Other Resources website for updated directives for:

  • health care providers
  • health care entities
  • regulated health professionals
  • long-term care homes
  • ambulance services and paramedics
  • hospitals

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - COVID-19 Provincial Testing Guidance

Public Health Ontario - COVID-19 Testing Guidelines

Public Health Ontario - COVID-19 Virus Test Requisition Form

Public Health Ontario - Requisition for Specimen Containers and Supplies

GBHU - COVID-19 NP Swab Order Form


Testing Turnaround Time (TAT)

Testing for COID-19 is performed 7 days a week at the London PHO Laboratory as required.

Turnaround time is up to 7 days. 60% of results are to be completed within 24 hours and 80% to be completed within 48 hours.

Note: Turnaround time will vary according to geographical location and proximity to the London PHO Laboratory. Testing centers may provide you with an expected turnaround time when they perform the test.  

If necessary additional testing is conducted at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg, which may increase the TAT.


STAT Testing

Testing for COVID-19 does not need to be sent as STAT specimens unless the result is needed to assist health-care providers in making swift patient care decisions in an urgent or emergency circumstance.

STAT samples must be shipped separately from routine specimens to a PHO Laboratory location that performs COVID-19 testing. Current PHO Laboratory testing locations include Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, and Ottawa. Refer to specimen acceptance hours and testing schedules at PHO Laboratory COVID-19 testing locations.

For testing at PHO Laboratory Toronto, specimens must be sent to the shipping and receiving dock at 661 University Ave., Toronto, Ontario. For delivery instructions please see Directions to 661 University Shipping Dock for Clinical Samples

STAT samples must be placed in a clearly marked package indicating ‘STAT’ and handled in accordance with the Canadian Biosafety Standards and shipped in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Failure to ship separately will delay testing, primarily due to delays in transportation, and will be processed as a routine sample.

Public Health Ontario - How to Self-Monitor

Public Health Ontario - How to Self-Isolate

Public Health Ontario - Self-isolation: Guide for caregivers, household members and close contacts

On October 1, 2020, the Ontario Ministry of Health updated its clearance guidance for people testing positive for COVID-19. People experiencing mild or moderate illness must isolate for 10 days after symptoms started, and people who have severe illness or are severely immunocompromised must isolate for 20 days. Close contacts of those diagnosed with COVID-19 must continue to isolate for 14 days after their last contact with the positive individual.

See below for directions if you have tested positive for COVID-19; have symptoms of COVID-19; or are a close contact of somebody who tested positive for COVID-19.

Tested Positive for COVID-19

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must:

  • Stay home and self-isolate for 10 days after your symptoms started. After 10 days, you can stop isolating if you no longer have a fever and your symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours, but you should continue with physical distancing measures. If you are still unwell at 10 days, contact your health care provider.
  • If you were hospitalized in an intensive care unit (ICU) with severe COVID-19 illness, or have a severe immune compromise (e.g., cancer chemotherapy, untreated HIV infection), you will have to self-isolate for 20 days.

Have Symptoms of COVID-19

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, and you were not a close contact of someone with COVID-19, you must:

  • Stay home and self-isolate for 10 days after your symptoms started. After 10 days, you can stop isolating if you no longer have a fever and symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours, but you should continue with physical distancing measures. If you are still unwell at 10 days, contact your health care provider.
  • Find out how to get tested and what you need to do.
  • You can stop isolating if you test negative for COVID-19 and symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours.

Exposed to COVID-19

If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should:

  • Visit an assessment centre to get tested.
  • If you do get tested you must self-isolate while you wait for your results. Even if your test result is negative you must continue to self-isolate for the full 14 days.
  • If you do not get tested, you must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days after your last contact with that person.

The Ministry of Health is focused on supporting organizations that are experiencing personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages that will prevent them from delivering patient care, in addition to organizations that are managing patients with coronavirus. If your community-based setting is experiencing a shortage of PPE that you anticipate will impact your ability to deliver patient care within the next ten days, please email them at  

For information on COVID-19 Vaccines, please visit the COVID-19 Vaccines webpage.

Patient Referral Form for Third Dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine


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