Ontario Expands COVID-19 Testing to Pharmacies

SEPTEMBER 23, 2020 – Up to 60 Ontario Pharmacies to Offer Testing by Appointment Starting Friday

The Ontario government is providing people with convenient and timely access to free COVID-19 testing at pharmacies in the province. As of Friday, up to 60 pharmacies in Ontario will begin offering testing by appointment only, with further locations coming online in the coming weeks.

This initiative will expand testing capacity well beyond the province’s 150 assessment centres.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.”We rely on our pharmacists for our flu shots, prescriptions, and important health advice for ourselves and our families. It makes sense to engage them as key partners in delivering more COVID-19 testing,” said Premier Ford. “I have to thank Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, and the independent pharmacies who have stepped up in a big way to help expand testing to more people in the province.

With everyone pitching in, we are well on our way to reaching our goal of 50,000 tests a day and stopping the spread of COVID-19.”Pharmacies may choose to provide testing for Ontarians who have no COVID-19 symptoms.

Individuals, within provincial testing guidance, will be able to visit select pharmacies by appointment only, and they will be pre-screened and then tested at no charge.

When visiting a pharmacy Ontarians should continue to follow COVID-19 public health measures, including wearing a face covering, frequent handwashing, and maintaining physical distance from those outside their household or social circle.

QUICK FACTSBeginning September 25, up to 60 pharmacy sites, including Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall and independent pharmacies, will provide testing for Ontarians with no COVID-19 symptoms.

Testing is available at any of the province’s 150 assessment centres currently open, and at participating pharmacies starting Friday. To find the closest pharmacy or assessment centre, please visit Ontario.ca/covidtest.Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or worried you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should get tested at an existing assessment centre.For added protection, download the COVID Alert app from the Apple and Google Play app stores.
BACKGROUND INFORMATIONOntario Expands COVID-19 Testing to Pharmacies
ADDITIONAL RESOURCESVisit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from COVID-19.
QUOTES”We applaud the government for today’s announcement and for recognizing the role pharmacies and pharmacists can play as we all work together to address this global pandemic. Expanding testing to pharmacies in areas with a higher number of COVID cases will allow more access to these tests, and will help free up capacity at existing centres for those who are ill. Our pharmacies are a convenient destination for Ontarians’ health care needs. We are proud to be a part of the solution for our communities, and grateful for the opportunity to do so.”
 — Jeff Leger, President, Shoppers Drug Mart
“Ontario pharmacy professionals are providing care to patients on the frontlines and continue to step up with solutions to support patients during the pandemic. As we enter the flu season and a potential second wave of the pandemic, pharmacy professionals stand ready to do their part in helping curb the spread of the virus.”
 — Justin Bates, CEO, Ontario Pharmacists Association

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