COVID-19 screening and testing protocols are changing as more becomes known and test capacity improves.
Please ensure you review the latest information from Shared Health for current public health advice for physicians on COVID-19 screening and testing.
Current Advice to Public (Updated May 14, 2020)
- COVID-19 testing clinics will now operate on a self-referral basis, eliminating the requirement for a referral from Health Links or a primary care provider.
- If an individual is not sure if they should be tested, they should start by using Shared Health’s screening tool, either online or on the phone at 1-877-308-9038.
For more information, see memo (May 13, 2020) from Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer.
Current Advice to Physicians for Use with Patients (Updated May 14, 2020)
- Physicians can directly refer patients to a testing clinic, without calling ahead, if they meet the screening criteria.
- The screening criteria and list of testing clinic locations updated regularly by Shared Health
- Anyone with cold/flu symptoms or relevant travel/contact history should either be screened using the criteria at the link above, or referred to the online screening tool.
Current Advice to Physicians Needing Testing (Updated May 14, 2020)
- Symptomatic physicians do not require any referral to seek testing. Review the symptoms below.
- Present at any testing clinic location and identify yourself as a healthcare worker.
- Healthcare workers with any symptoms are asked to self-isolate and seek testing.
- Negative test results are shared in the same way as public results (see below). Positive results will be delivered by occupational health or public health.
For more information, review memo (May 13, 2020) for healthcare workers about testing.
What Symptoms Trigger Testing? (Updated May 14, 2020)
- Always review the current public health advice online at Shared Health for current information.
- Individuals are considered “symptomatic” and in need of testing if they have:
- One symptom from Category A. One of: a fever > 38o, cough, sore throat/hoarse voice, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste, vomiting or diarrhea for > 24 hours, poor feeding (for infants)
Test Results (Updated May 14, 2020)
- Public health staff will contact positive cases, while patients can access negative results on a new online portal or automated phone service.
- COVID-19 test results should be visible to physicians in eChart.
- Shared Health maintains a site with the current public health advice on screening and testing for health care providers. This includes advice for:
- Public COVID-19 screening tool
- Public COVID-19 information