COVID-19 Assessment Centre
Last Updated: 2020-10-21
Who can receive testing at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital?
Adults and children who meet the criteria within the Government of Ontario guidelines can get screened to be tested at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital. Please visit the Assessment Centre only if you:
- Are showing COVID-19 symptoms
- Have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by local public health or through the COVID-19 Alert app (you may be asked to show the notification)
- Live or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by the local public health unit
- Are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative* as determined by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care, including:
- Residents or workers in long-term care homes
- Visitors to a long-term care home
- Residents or workers in homeless shelters
- International students that have passed their 14-day quarantine period
- Farm workers
- Indigenous communities
- Other setting-specific populations (e.g. asymptomatic cancer patients)
- Travellers who require a test before travelling internationally**
- Are a Mount Sinai Hospital patient who has been directed to be tested prior to your surgery or treatment. Please bring the note from your health care provider to the Assessment Centre.
Only people who meet any of the above criteria can be seen at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre.
If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, please call 911 or go to your closest Emergency Department.
If the criteria does not apply to you:
- You can get tested at select pharmacies only if you are not showing symptoms (asymptomatic) and meet the criteria listed on the Ontario.ca/covidtest website
- You can speak directly with your health care provider
* Targeted testing populations may change from time to time and individuals should confirm eligibility with their health care provider.
** This is an interim measure. Travellers should continue to check the Ministry of Health website to ensure you have current information about testing options and locations available to you.
Appointments at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre
Before making an appointment at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital, please use this online self-assessment tool. With direct integration to virtual health care providers, you can access personalized guidance based on your individual symptoms.
- Bookings can be made up to two days in advance. Please book one timeslot per person.
- There is no age restriction as to who can be tested.
- When you arrive at the Assessment Centre you will be asked questions to determine if you meet the criteria to be swabbed. You will receive information and a referral that is specific to your situation.
Location and Hours of Operation:
- The entrance to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital is located just north of the main entrance at 600 University Avenue.
- Hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- We are closed weekends and holidays.
On your appointment day and time:
- You are required to bring your health card or a piece of photo identification.
- You will be assessed to determine if you meet the criteria to be swabbed.
- Please arrive on time for your booked appointment.
- Even with a booked appointment, given the limited amount of waiting room in the Assessment Centre, you may need to wait outdoors for a portion of time. Please dress accordingly.
- Give yourself one hour to complete the process.
- Please bring confirmation of your email booking with you to the appointment.
- Once you have been tested at the Assessment Centre, you can check your results online through MyChart or at https://covid-19.ontario.ca within 24-72 hours (depending on volume, this may vary). We will not be calling patients with negative results.
- If you are having trouble accessing MyChart, please email [email protected] or call 1-833-221-2202 (it may take up to 72 hours for a response).
COVID-19 Saliva Testing
As of Friday, September 25, a saliva collection option for testing will be available in addition to the existing nasal swab option.
What is saliva testing?
The laboratory testing of saliva is performed the same way as the testing of a nasal swab. What is different is how the sample is collected.
Who could be considered for a saliva test?
The current eligibility criteria is focused on individuals that are either:
- People with a medical or anatomy problem of the nose that makes it impossible to have an nasal swab; or
- Children younger than 16 years of age who cannot tolerate the nasal swab.
The health care provider will determine the most appropriate testing method for you.
Is the saliva test as effective as the nasal swab in detecting the COVID-19 virus?
We strongly recommend a nasal swab as the best option for COVID-19 testing. The saliva test is less sensitive but is still an acceptable method of testing for certain individuals.
How do I prepare for saliva collection?
If you meet the criteria for saliva testing, you should be well hydrated by drinking a cup of water 60 minutes before giving a saliva sample.
Do NOT eat, drink, smoke, vape, or chew gum for 30 minutes prior to giving a saliva sample.
How do I provide the saliva sample?
You will be required to stop swallowing and let the saliva pool in your mouth. Then gently release the saliva into the container being careful not to contaminate the outside of the container.
How much saliva is required?
A minimum of 2 ml (approximately ½ teaspoon) is required for testing.
How long does it take to get your result with saliva testing?
Processing of saliva samples for testing requires additional steps which may increase the time to get your result and may take 24-48 hours longer for your result.