Testing and Lab Results for COVID-19

When requesting a call back, it's important you answer your phone. Your call display may not show that it's Niagara Region Public Health as the caller. It can take up to seven days to get test results for COVID-19. Continue to check MyChart. Public Health will follow-up only if you test positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 is often very mild, and minor symptoms shouldn't be ignored. If you have one or more symptoms of COVID-19, even if they're mild, contact your health care provider or call the Public Health Info-Line at 905-688-8248, press 7 then press 2, or chat online.

It's important to remember that a COVID-19 test is only a snapshot of your health on the specific date and time the swab was taken. No testing is perfect and a negative result doesn't mean you haven't been exposed to COVID-19. You can still develop symptoms days after your test was taken.

If your test comes back negative, but you begin to develop COVID-19 symptoms, even if they're mild, you need to be re-tested. This is important so we can all protect the health and safety of our loved ones and our community from whatever infection you may have.

It's up to the individual being tested if they want to share their personal health information with others. Niagara Region Public Health urges everyone to be cautious about sharing any personal health information, and to know that no one has the right to see your personal health information except your health care provider. In respect of privacy, Niagara Region Public Health will never share testing results with anyone but the person who has tested.

Screening with Public Health

If you choose to call the Public Health Info-Line, callers will be assessed by a public health professional for your risk of having COVID-19. Based on the initial assessment, the professional may:

Get COVID-19 Lab Results

It's important to ask the health care professional taking your swab / COVID-19 test how you'll be receiving your test results.

Public Health doesn't have access to your COVID-19 test results.

If you're having difficulty accessing your results or need a paper copy, contact the hospital site you were tested at and ask for the Release of Information Office.

Call 905-378-4647, then select the location

  • St. Catharines site, ext. 44470
  • Niagara Falls site, ext. 52451
  • Welland site, ext. 33220

How to get your lab results

  • Niagara Health Assessment Centre

    If you were tested at a Niagara Health COVID-19 assessment centre, you'll receive directions on how to access lab results online.

    If you were tested at a Niagara Health COVID-19 assessment centre, and you:

    • Don't have a current Ontario health card, or
    • Would like the test results of your child (12 years old and under)

    You may contact the assessment centre where you were tested or your health care provider (doctor's office). To contact the assessment centre, call 905-378-4647, then:

    • St. Catharines, ext. 44470
    • Niagara Falls, ext. 52451
    • Welland, ext. 33220
  • Provincial portal

    Ontario has a user-friendly, online portal for the public to easily access their COVID-19 lab test results.

    If results state, "Unable to post positive / negative results on this website," your results may be available in another location. To find the other location, look for an arrow on the lower right hand side that says, "Previous results". Verify the results in this section and match the date you had your COVID-19 test.

    By offering faster and secure access to test results on your computer or mobile device, this portal will help ease pressures on public health units and frontline workers to provide this information so they can better focus on containing COVID-19.

    Repeated login attempts may result in being locked out of the portal until midnight the next day. While waiting for test results, continue to self-isolate, unless you have never had COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Niagara Health Navigator

    Check your results by downloading a mobile app, available through Niagara Health.

    1. Download Niagara Health Navigator in the Google Play store or Apple app store
    2. Under COVID-19 select "Self Assessment and Lab Results" then "Check your Lab Results"
    3. Enter details as they appear on the Health Card
    4. Select "Verify Patient"
  • MyChart

    If can take a while to get your MyChart PIN. We recommend you sign up as soon as possible.

    Register for MyChart

    1. Visit MyChart and complete the online form. You must have a valid Ontario health card and be 13 years of age or older.
    2. Upload a clear photo of your Ontario health card
    3. Take a photo of yourself holding your health card and upload the photo
    4. Activate your account. You will receive an email with a link and four digit PIN within one business day.

    Find COVID-19 lab results

    1. Login to MyChart with your four digit PIN number and on the right hand side in the yellow area, create an account
    2. Click 'Clinical Records' on the left hand side, then click 'South West Ontario' and then click 'Microbiology'
    3. Click on the test description. If you're unsure which test describes COVID-19, click the test whose specimen source is Nasopharyngeal Swab.
    4. View your results

Your Lab Results

While waiting for test results, continue to self-isolate, unless you have never had COVID-19 symptoms.

If you receive a positive test result, continue to self-isolate and a public health professional will call you within 24 hours. If you need to speak to someone, call the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Info-Line.

If you receive a negative test result, and no longer have respiratory symptoms and were not required to self-isolate before developing symptoms (you haven't been told that you're a contact of a confirmed case, nor have you recently travelled outside of the country), then you can go back to work.

If you were self-isolating before developing symptoms because of an identified exposure (recently travelled or were a contact of a confirmed case), you must complete your original 14 day self-isolation period, if not already completed.

If someone has been tested more than seven days ago, and they have received a negative result, but their symptoms have not improved and / or they have new symptoms, they can be referred for testing again. We strongly recommend they also be reassessed by their health care provider.

If you receive an indeterminate result, it may mean that the results are not complete at the lab. Continue to check back in a day or two for your results. You will need to continue to self-isolate for 14 days.

If your final laboratory result is indeterminate for COVID-19, you will receive a call from the testing site to have your test repeated.

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