Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Testing

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Testing


This document provides testing guidelines for the novel coronavirus 19 disease (COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV) associated with an outbreak of respiratory illness that originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in late 2019. The causative agent for COVID-19 disease is SARS-CoV-2 virus. For the purpose of clear communication, PHO uses the term COVID-19 to refer to both the virus and the disease.

Who to test:

PHO Laboratory will accept specimens for COVID-19 testing from individuals meeting criteria for a person under investigation (PUI) or probable case for COVID-19 as outlined by the Ministry of Health.

Clinical presentations that do not fit case definition, but are considered at risk of COVID-19 by the assessing clinician will also be accepted for testing. PHO is not currently recommending routine testing of asymptomatic persons for COVID-19. If the clinician would like to further discuss the role for testing the PHO Microbiologists on-call are available and can be contacted through the PHO Laboratory’s Customer Service Centre at 416-235-6556 / 1-877-604-4567 or the After-Hours Emergency Duty Officer at 416-605-3113.

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