Expanded COVID-19 Testing Options and Criteria at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre


In support of the Ministry of Health’s further guidance on COVID-19 testing the Sault Ste. Marie COVID-19 Assessment Centre is immediately implementing the following actions:


Symptomatic testing:

1. All people with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even for mild symptoms. Some common symptoms include fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, developing problems with smell or taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, runny nose or nasal congestion (in the absence of an underlying reason such as seasonal allergies).


Asymptomatic, risk-based testing:

2. People who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19. This includes people who are contacts of or may have been exposed to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.  Examples of close contact exposures include providing care for a person, having close physical contact with someone, or living with/having close, prolonged contact with a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

3. People who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment, including essential workers (e.g., health care workers, grocery store employees, food processing plants).


This direction is in addition to the COVID-19 Testing Guidance Update of May 14, 2020.

While we appreciate the convenience of a walk-in service, at this time, we are continuing to ask the public to schedule an appointment with the Assessment Centre.  For safety reasons, “walk-in” appointments are discouraged. Scheduling an appointment will also allow our team to prepare for your visit, avoid any delays or turning away of an individual due to not meeting the criteria.  A scheduled appointment also allows our staff to determine the best option for your test (drive-up or in-centre) to ensure you receive the appropriate level of care. 

By booking an appointment, our team will have everything ready for an individual’s visit which should take less than 15 minutes.

Individuals (aged 13 and older) may call the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at 705-759-3434 ext. 7152, between the hours of 8 am – 8 pm, 7 days per week, to schedule an appointment.  The patient must provide general information and will be assessed based on the COVID-19 Assessment Centre’s provincial guidelines.

The Sault Ste. Marie COVID-19 Assessment Centre has established 6 – 8 pm, 7-days per week as the dedicated appointment times for all essential workers.

The test for COVID-19 is called a nasopharyngeal swab.  The health care provider has the person put their head back and inserts a flexible swab deep into the back of the nose to collect the specimen.  For more information on signs and symptoms, or to access the Ontario Government’s self-assessment tool visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/.

To find out more about SAH, visit: www.sah.on.ca


  1. But the Premier says that anybody/everybody should be tested. According to the guildelines from APH, I would be turned away. I could be asymptomatic but don’t fall under #2 or #3. I’ve been to grocery stores and maybe an employee had covid-19 and passed it onto me…

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