With a surge of third wave COVID-19 infections, many, particularly those who are currently ineligible to receive a vaccine according to the provincial vaccination plan, are seeking testing (for peace of mind or as a requirement for travel).
Anyone who needs a COVID-19 test who meets the Government of Ontario’s eligibility guidelines can get one at no cost. In the GTA, there are approximately 171 COVID-testing locations, including assessment centres (tests people with symptoms, exposure, or those in certain groups); community labs (tests people with symptoms, exposure, or those in certain groups); and pharmacies (tests certain people without symptoms or exposure).
However, wait times for test results at these sites can take upwards of four days, and they may not provide COVID-19 testing for other purposes such as travel.
But paid rapid-testing and same day/next-day results are available at private clinics across Ontario.
Here are seven places in Toronto where you can get (near) same-day COVID-19 test results.
Provides screening services for asymptomatic people only (i.e., showing no symptoms of COVID-19). Results can be used for travel purposes (see their website for details). Provides RT-PCR Testing, rapid antigen testing, and antibody testing by reservation (see bottom of article for differences between COVID tests). Results are emailed to the email address provided during your appointment booking.
Locations: 413 Spadina Rd., 2637 Yonge St., and other locations.
When you’ll receive results: same day results for patrons who book before noon (on occasion, results may be delayed until the following day). Individuals who book after 12 p.m. will receive results in 24 hours or earlier, but it may take until midnight the following day.
Cost: PCR test will cost you $180.56 (HST included). Other COVID-19 tests will cost anywhere from $141.25 to $202.27 (HST included).
Offers pre-travel COVID-19 PCR/NAAT swab testing (for asymptomatic individuals) by appointment only. Results sent by email.
GTA locations: 2077 Lake Shore Blvd., 1450 O’Connor Dr.
When you’ll receive results: your appointment must be within 72 hours of your scheduled departure time, and your results will be available within 48 hours.
Cost: $175.60 (tax included).
Offers independent, real-time, Health Canada-approved molecular PCR tests, in partnership with Switch Health. Results are delivered online via a secure portal; results can also be used for passengers travelling internationally who require a negative test.
GTA locations: 2251 Lawrence Ave. E., 82 Peter St. and other locations.
When you’ll receive results: for patients in Ontario, test results are available the same day or the next day by midnight.
Cost: an independent COVID-19 test costs $159 (HST included).
Offers both COVID-19 PCR/NAAT swab testing and COVID-19 antibody (serology) blood testing to travellers, by appointment. Your results email will include both a doctor’s letter and your lab results (can be used for travel purposes).
When you’ll receive results: within 48 hours.
Cost: the COVID-19 PCR/NAAT swab test costs $199 + tax. The COVID-19 antibody (serology) blood test costs $75 (+ tax).
Provides mobile medical staffing, COVID-19 PCR testing, and COVID-19 support for asymptomatic individuals, film productions, workplaces, and essential travellers in Toronto and across Ontario. They perform RT-PCR tests that are processed by Ontario labs and overseen by their medical team. Individuals can receive testing documentation required for outbound international air and cross-border travel.
Location: mobile/on-site testing service (mobile nursing team will administer the test at the customer’s home or work site). Headquartered in Toronto but providing service across Ontario.
When you’ll receive results: the website states same day bookings, same day results. Rush testing is available with one of their Ontario lab partners (12 to 16 hours).
Cost: Fill out this form to obtain pricing.
Teamed up with Switch Health to provide PCR testing. When your test results are available, you’ll be notified via text message. If your test results are positive, you’ll receive a phone call from a Switch Health physician.
Location: 150 York St.
When you’ll receive results: before 11:59 p.m. the following day, via the Switch Health Patient Portal.
Cost: Medcan members receive 10 per cent off the test’s retail value: $250 (+HST) if taken on-site at Medcan and $320 (+HST) if taken at home.
Offers PCR swab tests, antibody tests, and swab test (RT-PCR) + antibody (IgG, IgM) combo. All tests will provide patients with an official certificate, sent by email, valid for all requirements, including all international travel.
Location: 7575 Highway 27, Vaughan.
When you’ll receive results: within 36 hours.
Cost: $225 for PCR test; $180 for antibody test; $400 for the combo. All prices include taxes.
The various types of COVID-19 tests include:
- PCR Lab Tests: highly accurate and can show if someone currently has COVID-19. Considered the gold standard in COVID-19 testing (it’s a good idea to opt for this test when possible).
- Rapid PCR Tests: similar to the PCR lab test, these tests look for virus cells and shows if someone has a current COVID-19 infection, although these tests are less sensitive than lab-based PCR tests.
- Rapid Antigen Tests: these tests look for proteins from the COVID-19 virus. Results are available in about 15 to 20 minutes, so it’s useful for repeated screening of asymptomatic people in high-risk settings (e.g., staff/visitors in long-term care homes). These tests however aren’t as accurate as PCR tests. People who receive a positive result with a rapid antigen test, but who are considered low risk (e.g., no symptoms), may require a confirmation PCR test.
- Serology Tests: looks for antibodies to COVID-19 in the blood; can help determine if a person was infected with COVID-19 in the past. The accuracy of these tests has not been proven (it is not yet known whether having these antibodies means that a person is immune to COVID-19).
Click here for more COVID-19 Ontario news.