Ontario is expanding COVID-19 testing to select pharmacies across the province, but none of the locations will be in northwestern Ontario at this time.

So far, the vast majority of the 60 locations offering testing services are in southern Ontario. However, Ontario says further locations will be expected in the coming weeks.

The pharmacy testing is being conducted for free on an appointment basis, and aims to improve Ontario’s testing capacity and test turn around times. All residents are asked to wear a face mask when visiting a pharmacy.

"We rely on our pharmacists for our flu shots, prescriptions, and important health advice for ourselves and our families. It makes sense to engage them as key partners in delivering more COVID-19 testing," said Premier Ford earlier this week.

"I have to thank Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, and the independent pharmacies who have stepped up in a big way to help expand testing to more people in the province. With everyone pitching in, we are well on our way to reaching our goal of 50,000 tests a day and stopping the spread of COVID-19."

As well, some of Ontario’s COVID-19 testing centres, including the Dryden Regional Health Centre’s, are beginning to offer saliva based testing for COVID-19, or a combination of nasal and throat swaps, opposed to the currently-invasive nasal test.

For more information:
Province invests $70 million to fight influenza
COVID-19 Assessment Centre seeing ‘overwhelming’ number of calls