On the first of this month, I started coughing. Fortunately, had no fever or loss of taste. It felt like a common cold. Nonetheless, I decided to stay home for a week to not spread my cold, but also because in the context of the pandemic, there was always the possibility that it could be more than a cold. A week later my symptoms went away, but after taking the Ontario self-assessment I realized that coughing can be a symptom of Covid. So, I used the Ontario website to find a nearby test location.
The nearest test location to me was not in the High Park area where I live, but rather a pharmacy on Bloor West near Lansdowne, the Bloordale Pharmacy. Only a 15-minute walk away. I called them to book an appointment, and they tested me outdoors just outside the pharmacy to be safe. They later informed me that I could visit the Ontario website to access the results of my PCR test.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I still have the old red and white OHIP card, so I was not able to access my results online (I’m scheduled to get my new OHIP photo card in January of next year). However, the manager at Bloordale Pharmacy called me two days after the test to let me know that the results were negative.
As someone who had received two doses and works from home, I was relieved but not entirely surprised with the negative result, and thankful that the very professional staff at the Bloordale Pharmacy were able to accommodate me so quickly.
Hopefully, you have a safe and healthy Holiday season. If you have symptoms, please strongly consider taking the Ontario self-assessment to determine if you should get a test. Naturally, anyone experiencing signs of severe illness should go to the nearest emergency department, and if not well enough to take transportation call 911.
Ontario Covid self-assessment https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/
Ontario Covid test locations https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-test-and-testing-location-information
City of T.O. Covid testing information https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-what-you-should-do/covid-19-assessment-centres/
PS While the pharmacy test experience worked well for me, some may prefer to go to a hospital for a test, such as St. Joseph’s. So, please visit the Ontario Covid test locations site if you are going to take a test to understand your options. And always call in advance to book your appointment. Finally, if you have been exposed to a confirmed case you should be tested even if you have no symptoms.