Coronavirus testing now open to anyone in Ottawa with symptoms

Ottawa Public Health says it's expanding coronavirus testing to anyone in the city who might be showing symptoms of infection. File Photo / Getty Images

Anyone who believes they might have symptoms of COVID-19 in Ottawa can now get tested for the novel coronavirus, the local public health unit announced Wednesday.

Until now, limited resources and capacity in the city’s health-care system have limited testing to Ottawa’s vulnerable populations and those at highest risk of exposure to the virus, such as residents over the age of 60, first responders, front-line health-care workers, critical infrastructure workers and returning international travellers.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Dr. Tam says it’s time for Canada to ‘widen the net’ when it comes to COVID-19 testing

The aforementioned categories will still get priority for testing, but as of Wednesday, anyone with symptoms related to COVID-19 can get a test at the Brewer Arena assessment centre or care clinics located in Ottawa’s east and west ends.

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Symptoms related to the coronavirus include fever, cough and difficulty breathing, as well as fatigue, delirium, chills and loss of taste or smell.

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A full list of symptoms and instructions for getting tested are available here.

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Meanwhile, experts are saying even wider coronavirus testing is critical to catch asymptomatic cases.

Ottawa Public Health said Tuesday there have been 1,692 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, with 178 deaths related to the virus.

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