COVID-19 Assessment Centre

Information about Testing

Our Clinical Assessment Centres at Birchmount and Centenary Hospitals can test, assess and provide treatment options for COVID‑19. You can visit one if you have symptoms and are at a higher risk for COVID‑19 and/or are unable to access a primary care provider.

Who should go to an Assessment Centre?

  • Showing COVID-19 symptoms (see list of symptoms), and fall into one of the following groups:
    • People aged 70 years and older
    • People aged 60 years and older who have less than three doses of COVID-19 vaccine
    • People who are immunocompromised
    • Adults aged 18 years and older who have had less than three doses of COVID-19 vaccine and have risk conditions: obesity (BMI ≥ 30kg/m2), diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, congestive heart failure, chronic respiratory disease, including cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, sickle cell disease, moderate or severe kidney disease (eGFR <60mL/min), moderate or severe liver disease (e.g., Child Pugh Class B or C cirrhosis)
  • Symptomatic/asymptomatic individuals, and fall into one of the following groups:
    • Individuals who are from a First Nation, Inuit, Métis community, and/or who self-identify as First Nation, Inuit, and Métis, and their household members
    • Individuals travelling into First Nation, Inuit, Métis communities for work
    • On admission/transfer to or from hospital or congregate living setting
    • People in the context of confirmed or suspected outbreaks in highest risk settings as directed by the local public health unit
    • Individuals, and one accompanying caregiver, with written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager, Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
    • Any patient with a scheduled surgical procedure requiring a general anaesthetic 24-48 hours prior to procedure date
    • Newborns born to people with confirmed COVID-19 at the time of birth within 24 hours of delivery, with a repeat test at 48 hours after birth if baseline test is negative, or if the parental test results are pending at the time of discharge
    • People 24-48 hours prior to treatment for cancer or prior to hemodialysis, at the discretion of the treating clinician
  • Other people at higher risk of severe disease who may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment if they tested positive
  • Pregnant people
  • Patient-facing healthcare workers
  • Staff, volunteers, residents/inpatients, essential care providers, and visitors in highest risk settings
    • Highest risk settings include: hospitals (including complex continuing care facilities and paramedic services), and congregate living settings with medically and socially vulnerable individuals, including, but not limited to long-term care homes, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, correctional institutions, and hospital schools.
  • Household members of staff in highest risk settings and patient-facing health care workers
  • Home and community care workers
  • International Agriculture Workers in congregate living settings
  • Patients seeking emergency medical care, at the discretion of the treating clinician
  • Other outpatients for whom a diagnostic test is required for clinical management, at the discretion of the treating clinician
  • People who are underhoused or experiencing homelessness
  • First responders, including fire, police and paramedics

Other information

Symptoms of COVID-19 and its variants range from mild — like the flu and other common respiratory infections — to severe. If you feel sick, it’s important that you stay home and talk with a primary care provider or doctor if necessary.

If you have the symptoms of COVID-19 listed below, assume that you may have the virus and may be contagious.

  • Any one or more of:
    • fever or chills
    • cough
    • shortness of breath
    • decreased or loss of taste or smell
  • Any two or more of:
    • runny nose or nasal congestion
    • headache
    • extreme fatigue
    • sore throat
    • muscle aches or joint pain
    • gastrointestinal symptoms (such as vomiting or diarrhea)

Stay home, inform others of their exposure, and self-isolate until all of the following apply:

  • your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you had nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea)
  • you do not have a fever
  • you have not developed additional symptoms

Do not leave your home except to get tested, to visit a clinical assessment centre, or for a medical emergency. If you have severe symptoms like chest pain or difficulty breathing, go to the nearest emergency department.

You should then continue to take additional precautions for up to 10 days after your symptoms started.

Immunocompromised individuals
If you are immunocompromised and test positive for COVID-19 or have not been tested, you should stay home for 10 days.

If you test negative for COVID-19, you can stop isolating at home once your symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you had nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea) and you do not have a fever.

You can then take additional precautions for up to 10 days after your symptoms started as extra protection against the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses circulating in the community.

Individuals working in high-risk settings
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19 and work in a high-risk setting (such as a hospital, a long-term care home, or a retirement home), you should speak with your employer and follow your workplace guidance for return to work.

For 10 days after your symptoms started, last day of exposure, or positive test result:

  • self-monitor for new or worsening symptoms
  • seek testing (if eligible) if you develop any new or different symptoms
  • wear a well-fitted mask as much as possible in all public settings, unless:
    • you are temporarily removing it for essential activities (such as when eating in shared space at school/work) while still maintaining as much distancing from others as possible
    • you are unable to mask (such as children under two years of age)
  • avoid non-essential activities where you need to take off your mask (for example, playing a wind instrument, sports that require removing your mask, dining out)
  • avoid visiting anyone who is immunocompromised or may be at higher risk of illness (for example, seniors)
  • avoid non-essential visits to highest risk settings, such as hospitals and long-term care homes

Other testing options

Cold, Flu and COVID Clinics

At our our Cold, Flu and COVID Clinics, a physician is available virtually or in person to consult with patients who have moderate symptoms common to COVID-19, the flu or a cold. Patients may also receive a COVID-19 test, as appropriate.

We have Cold, Flu and COVID Clinic at our General Hospital, as well as a dedicated Kids Cold, Flu and COVID Clinic at Birchmount Hospital. We also have specific hours at our Centenary COVID-19 Assessment Centre when a physician is available to provide cold, flu and COVID consultations.

You can make an appointment to get tested for COVID-19 at select pharmacies if you are not showing symptoms AND you live or work in an at-risk setting, such as a long-term care home, homeless shelter or other congregate setting. To find the closest pharmacy, please visit Ontario.ca/covidtest.

Carefirst One-Stop Multi-Services Centre (300 Silver Star Boulevard)

Fridays and Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. | Book an appointment: www.carefirstontario.ca

Brought to you by Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association and Carefirst Family Health Team.

You are also encouraged to speak with your health care provider and to continue to follow public health measures, including wearing a face covering, washing your hands frequently and maintaining physical distance from people outside your household or social circle.

Booking an Appointment

Locations

COVID-19 Assessment Centre
Birchmount Hospital
3030 Birchmount Road

Outside of the hospital building, near the Emergency department and main entrance. Please follow the directions on-site.

For more details on arriving for your appointment and after completing your test, view instructions.


Hours of operation

8:15 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Seven days a week

COVID-19 Assessment Centre
Centenary Hospital
2867 Ellesmere Road

Outside of the hospital building, on the east side going towards the Emergency department. Please follow the directions on-site.

For more details on arriving for your appointment and after completing your test, view instructions.


Hours of operation

Monday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Friday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.


Cold, Flu and COVID consults with a physician

During specific hours, a physicians is available in person or virtually at our at Centenary Hospital to provide consultation for those with moderate symptoms common to COVID-19, the flu or a cold. Learn more about symptoms.

Specific hours physician available for Cold, Flu and COVID consults:

Week of January 16
Monday, 2 – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, 2 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday, 10 a.m. –  3 p.m.
Friday, 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Week of January 23
Monday, 2 – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, 4 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, 2 – 6 p.m.
Thursday, 10 a.m. –  8 p.m.
Friday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The physician may join virtually or in person on-site for appointments

Book your testing appointment

If you are in one of the groups that is eligible for testing at an Assessment Centre, please complete the booking form below to make an appointment. For questions, please email covidassessmentcentre@shn.ca or call us Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 416-495-2593.

Appointment Information

Information on getting tested

You must have your Health Card to be tested. Please bring your Driver’s License too if you have one.

Please arrive 10 minutes before your appointment to allow time for parking and accessing the Assessment Centre.


Park in the hospital visitor parking lot. Make sure you keep your parking slip.


Follow the signage for the COVID-19 Assessment Centre.


You will be registered by one of our registration clerks, seen by the nurse and have your nasal swab completed.

Clean your hands, then go directly to your vehicle or transportation. Do not walk through the hospital.


You will receive a parking voucher following your test. When you exit the parking lot, insert the parking slip you received upon arrival, followed by the parking voucher. The gates will then open to allow your exit.


Ensure you follow any instructions provided to you by the nurse regarding self-monitoring and self-isolation.


If your symptoms become severe (difficulty breathing, chest pain/tightness/crushing sensation, feeling confused, loss of consciousness) please call 911 or visit the closest Emergency department right away.

If you have taken a COVID-19 test, you can access and view your test results through the Ministry of Health’s online tool.

Paxlovid Therapy Assessment

Paxlovid is an oral mediation (pill) made up of two antiviral agents packaged together that can block the COVID-19 virus from multiplying in the body. Paxlovid can reduce the risk of mild or moderate COVID-19 infections from developing into severe infections that requires high-risk patients to be hospitalized. Paxlovid is administered orally for 5 days.

Ontario has expanded dispensing locations for Paxlovid to include participating pharmacies. Physicians in the community can now prescribe Paxlovid with patients being able to pick up the medication at participating pharmacies. Physicians and pharmacists dispensing the drug will need to consider renal function with respect to drug dosing and be mindful of potential drug interactions.

Patients may be referred by their health care provider to our COVID-19 Assessment Centre for a virtual assessment of Paxlovid therapy.

Who is eligible for Paxlovid?

Individuals 18 years or older. Treatment must be initiated within 5 days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.


Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 (PCR, rapid molecular, or rapid antigen test [including self-administered]) with mild or moderate COVID-19 infection and are at higher risk of clinical progression to severe disease, and do not have contraindications.

Patients may be at higher risk of severe disease if they are in one of the following groups:

  • Immunocompromised or immunosuppressed individuals not expected to mount an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination
  • 70 years of age and older
  • 60 year of age and older with less than three vaccine doses
  • 18 years of age or older with less than three vaccine doses and at least one risk factor*

Patients must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies (including individuals with lymphoid malignancies who are being monitored without active treatment)
  • Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, common variable immunodeficiency, Good’s syndrome, hyper IgE syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e. equal or greater than 20 mg prednisone or equivalent per day when administered for equal or greater than 2 weeks)
  • Active treatment with alkylating agents, antimetabolites (including methotrexate), transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis factor (TNF) blockers or other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Obesity (Body mass index equal or greater than 30 kg/m2)
  • Cardiovascular Disease (e.g. heart disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension)
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (eGFR 30 to less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2)
  • Chronic Liver Disease (Child-Pugh class B)
  • Chronic Respiratory Disease (including cystic fibrosis)
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Intellectual or Developmental Disability
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Pregnancy

How it works

If you got referred for Paxlovid therapy assessment, you will receive a phone call from an Assessment Centre physician to assess your eligibility for Paxlovid therapy and to discuss treatment detail.

Make a referral

Referral from a physician is required. Please email to covidassessmentcentre@shn.ca.

Helpful resources