Testing and Lab Results for COVID-19

When requesting a call back, it's important you answer your phone. Your call display may not show that it's Niagara Region Public Health as the caller. It can take up to seven days to get test results for COVID-19. Continue to check MyChart. Public Health will follow-up only if you test positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 is often very mild, and minor symptoms shouldn't be ignored. If you have one or more symptoms of COVID-19, even if they're mild, contact your health care provider or call the Public Health Info-Line at 905-688-8248, press 7 then press 2, or chat online.

It's important to remember that a COVID-19 test is only a snapshot of your health on the specific date and time the swab was taken. No testing is perfect and a negative result doesn't mean you haven't been exposed to COVID-19. You can still develop symptoms days after your test was taken.

If your test comes back negative, but you begin to develop COVID-19 symptoms, even if they're mild, you need to be re-tested. This is important so we can all protect the health and safety of our loved ones and our community from whatever infection you may have.

Screening with Public Health

If you choose to call the Public Health Info-Line, callers will be assessed by a public health professional for your risk of having COVID-19. Based on the initial assessment, the professional may:

  • Provide reassurance that you don't have COVID-19 and advise on protecting your health
  • Advise to self-monitor
  • Direct to self-isolate at home
  • Refer to a COVID-19 testing location / Niagara Health COVID-19 assessment centres
  • Recommend you go to the nearest emergency department

MyChart / Get COVID-19 Lab Results

If you were tested at a Niagara Health COVID-19 assessment centre, you will receive directions on how to access lab results online, including how to register for MyChart. We suggest you register for MyChart as soon as you return home from testing.

Register for MyChart

  1. Visit MyChart and complete the online form. You must have a valid Ontario health card and be 13 years of age or older.
  2. Upload a clear photo of your Ontario health card
  3. Take a photo of yourself holding your health card and upload the photo
  4. Activate your account. You will receive an email with a link and four digit PIN within one business day.

Find COVID-19 lab results

  1. Login to your MyChart account using the credentials you set up
  2. Click 'Clinical Records' on the left hand side, then click 'South West Ontario' and then click 'Microbiology'
  3. Click on the test description. If you're unsure which test describes COVID-19, click the test whose specimen source is Nasopharyngeal Swab.
  4. Read your report and review your result

Provincial portal

If you can't access your lab results through MyChart, try the provincial portal. Ontario launched a user-friendly, online portal for the public to easily access their COVID-19 lab test results.

By offering faster and secure access to test results on your computer or mobile device, this portal will help ease pressures on public health units and frontline workers to provide this information so they can better focus on containing COVID-19.

While waiting for test results, continue to self-isolate.

If you receive a positive test result

Continue to self-isolate and a public health professional will call you within 24 hours. If you need to speak to someone, call the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Info-Line.

If you receive a negative test result

If you no longer have any respiratory symptoms and you were not required to self-isolate prior to developing symptoms (you have not been told that you are a contact of a confirmed case, nor have you recently travelled outside of the country), then you can go back to work.

If you were self-isolating prior to developing symptoms because of an identified exposure (recently travelled or were a contact of a confirmed case), you must complete your original 14 day self-isolation period, if not already completed.

If someone has been tested more than seven days ago, and they have received a negative result, but their symptoms have not improved and / or they have new symptoms, they can be referred for testing again. We strongly recommend they also be reassessed by their health care provider.

If you receive an indeterminate result

If your search shows that your results for COVID-19 are indeterminate, it may mean that the results are not completed at the lab. Continue to check back in a day or two for your results. You will need to continue to self-isolate for 14 days.

If your final laboratory result is indeterminate for COVID-19, you will receive a call from the testing site to have your test repeated.

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