Frequently Asked Questions on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

See COVID-19 information for health care professionals to learn about COVID-19 vaccination and other topics.

You can also review our medical advisories and memos for the latest health alerts (COVID and non-COVID related).

COVID-19 Testing

  • What do I need to test patients in my office and where can I get it?

    Testing in office can be performed if the health care professional is able to follow the recommendations outlined by the Province, has the appropriate tools and knowledge of how to test, and can ensure coordination of sample delivery to a laboratory providing COVID-19 testing.

    You will also need:

    • A room to isolate patient (doesn't need to be a negative pressure room)
    • Fit tested seal-checked N95 respirator (or equivalent), gloves, isolation gown and eye protection (goggles, face shield or safety glasses with side protection).
      • Health care workers who are not yet fit-tested for an N95 respirator (or equivalent) must wear a non fit-tested N95 respirator (or equivalent), KN95 respirator, or well-fitted surgical/procedure mask based on a risk assessment
    • Nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs

    Order COVID-19 testing swabs using the online West Region Swab Order Form.  

    Access additional PCR testing forms and instructions through Public Health Ontario.

  • What do I need to know about making testing referrals?

    If it's necessary to refer patients to an external centre for testing, see COVID-19 testing and assessment. Niagara Region Public Health offices don't provide COVID-19 testing.

    Ensure that your patient is aware of the need for safe arrangements for travel to the testing location that maintains isolation of the patient (i.e. patient should wear a medical mask or N95/KN95 respirator if they have one, otherwise they should wear a high quality three layer cloth mask and should avoid public transit if possible).

COVID-19 treatment

There are two antiviral medications available for treatment of COVID-19:

  • Paxlovid (administered orally)
  • Remdesivir (administered intravenously)

For these treatments to be effective, they must be administered early in the course of illness (for Paxlovid - within five days of symptom onset and for Remdesivir - within seven days of symptom onset).

We encourage all family physicians to communicate proactively with patients at higher risk for severe disease on how to seek treatment should they become infected with COVID-19.

As of December 2022, Ontario Health no longer recommends routine use of Evusheld (Tixagevimab and Cilgavimab) for pre-exposure prophylaxis for any patient group, including immunocompromised patients. Ontario Health also does not recommend use of Evusheld for treatment of COVID-19. See Ontario Health's Recommendation on the Use of Evusheld for more information.

Infection prevention and control and screening

For guidance and recommendations on personal protective equipment and infection prevention and control refer to

Variants of concern

More information

Ministry of Health

Centre for Effective Practice

Page Feedback Did you find what you were looking for today?