Queen’s Park is rolling out an expanded COVID-19 testing program to select pharmacies across the province.
Beginning Friday, up to 60 pharmacies will offer free testing by appointment only. Further locations will be announced in coming weeks.
“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 Doug 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.”
The initiative will greatly expand testing capacity well beyond the province’s current 150 assessment centres, the government says.
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Pharmacies may choose to provide testing for those who have no COVID symptoms. After making an appointment, patients will be pre-screened and then tested at no charge.
The move comes as part of the Provincial government’s Keeping Ontarians Safe plan that will:
- Maintain strong public health measures, including continued expansion of testing and case and contact management;
- Quickly identify, manage and prevent COVID-19 outbreaks;
- Accelerate efforts to reduce health service backlogs;
- Prepare for surges in COVID-19 cases;
- Recruit, retain, train and support health care workers, while also continuing to engage families and caregivers; and
- Implement the largest flu immunization campaign in Ontario’s history.
To find the closest pharmacy or assessment centre, please visit Ontario.ca/covidtest.