Last updated: January 18, 2022
Michael Garron Hospital's (MGH) COVID-19 Assessment Centre provides screening, assessment and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for eligible individuals four months of age or older in East Toronto. PCR tests are available by appointment and walk-in. Appointments are prioritized. We encourage you to book an appointment in advance whenever possible.
The centre is located on the north side of the hospital building off of Mortimer Avenue, west of the Emergency Department (see map below). It is open every day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Our COVID-19 Assessment Centre is wheelchair accessible. Interpreter services are available for patients who do not speak English.
Test results should be available online within 96 hours. Please do not get a second COVID-19 PCR test while you are waiting for results unless you are instructed to by a healthcare professional.
PCR TEST ELIGIBiLITY
COVID-19 PCR test criteria and eligibility is set out by the Ontario government. Before seeking out a COVID-19 PCR test, please read the list of individuals eligible for a PCR test. As of January 18, pregnant people, first responders (including fire, police and paramedics) and household members of individuals working in high-risk settings can also get a PCR test if they are symptomatic. Individuals seeking a PCR test may be asked to show proof of eligibility before a test is administered.
TAKE-HOME PCR TEST KITS
Symptomatic students and education staff who meet testing eligibility can pick up and drop off take-home COVID-19 PCR test kits at our COVID-19 Assessment Centre or COVID-19 Outreach Centres. You do not need an appointment to pick up or drop off a take-home test kit.
Due to increased testing volumes and limited supply, availability of take-home test kits varies at our sites. We recommend each household pick up one take-home test kit at a time. Additional kits may be provided on a case-by-case basis (for example, if a family has multiple children who need a test). Learn more about our take-home PCR test kits.
ABOUT THE PCR TEST
The COVID-19 PCR test is similar to that of other respiratory illnesses and involves taking a sample from the nasal cavity with a swab. PCR tests are processed in a laboratory. It is different from a rapid antigen test and an antibody test. Test results should be available online within 96 hours.
Eligible children who visit the MGH COVID-19 Assessment Centre receive an oral-nasal PCR test. The oral-nasal PCR test involves rubbing the inside of the mouth and the front of the nose with a swab for less than five seconds. It is less invasive than the nasopharyngeal (NP) swab that is commonly used for COVID-19 PCR tests. This helps increase the likelihood that children and youth will have pleasant testing experiences.
It is important to remember that testing represents a snapshot in time. Therefore, it is critical that you continue to follow public health guidelines, including washing your hands, wearing a mask and physical distancing.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What if there are no appointments available at the MGH COVID-19 Assessment Centre?
You can visit one of our COVID-19 Outreach Centres in East Toronto. These sites offer walk-in and child-friendly PCR tests, assessments and other supports for eligible individuals. Eligible children who visit our COVID-19 Outreach Centres receive an oral-nasal PCR test.
You can also visit another COVID-19 Assessment Centre in the Toronto region.
2. What happens if I test positive on a PCR test?
See instructions for self-isolation, contact tracing and next steps here.
Due to an overwhelming number of positive COVID-19 cases, MGH’s clinicians may not have the capacity to speak to you directly about your positive PCR test result despite our best efforts. We are prioritizing individuals in our follow-up who are at highest risk for complications from COVID-19.
3. How do I cancel a PCR test appointment at the MGH COVID-19 Assessment Centre?
E-mail @email and request to have your appointment cancelled. Alternatively, if you booked your appointment online using a Health Myself account, you can log into your account and cancel it online. If you are unable to cancel your appointment over e-mail or online, please call 416-469-6858. Phones are answered every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4. What if I have symptoms of COVID-19 but I do not meet the PCR test criteria?
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you are presumed to have COVID-19 and must self-isolate as soon as possible according to the following recommended self-isolation periods:
- Individuals who are fully vaccinated and children under 12 years of age: Self-isolate for five days after symptom onset. You can end self-isolation after five days if your symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours, and if all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed.
- Individuals who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or immunocompromised: Self-isolate for 10 days after symptom onset.
All household contacts must also self-isolate for the same duration as the person with symptoms, regardless of their vaccination status. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should also consider informing close contacts beyond your household contacts by providing them with the link to Ontario.ca/exposed. Individuals who are eligible for a PCR test are encouraged to get tested.
If you have concerns about your symptoms, contact your doctor, healthcare provider or Telehealth for more information and guidance. If you develop severe symptoms requiring medical attention, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, call 911.
5. What if I am exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 but I do not meet the PCR test criteria?
If you are fully vaccinated, have no symptoms and do not live with the positive case, you are advised to:
- Self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days since you last interacted with the positive case.
- Maintain masking, physical distancing and adherence to all other public health measures if leaving home.
- Do not visit any high-risk settings or individuals who may be at higher risk of illness (e.g., seniors) for 10 days from your last exposure.
If you are not fully vaccinated, or are immunocompromised, you must self-isolate immediately for 10 days following your last contact. If you live with the positive case, you must isolate for the length of their isolation period.
Individuals who are eligible for a PCR test are encouraged to get tested.
HOW TO GET TO THE MGH COVID-19 ASSESSMENT CENTRE
The MGH COVID-19 Assessment Centre cannot be accessed from inside of the hospital. The entrance is located on the north side of the building off of Mortimer Avenue, west of the Emergency Department (see map below).
If you require urgent care, please visit an Emergency Department or call 911 and inform them of your travel and contact history and symptoms.