Testing is one of the main ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic effectively.
Testing for COVID-19 is not mandatory. Anyone who is offered a test can decide whether or not to have it. Whatever you decide, it is important to follow all the public health recommendations and to continue to follow the health recommendations for everyone.
Who has to get tested
You have symptoms and want to get tested
You do not have symptoms and want to get tested
If any of the following situations apply to you, it is recommended that you get tested, even if you do not have COVID-19–like symptoms:
- you had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 up to 48 hours before their symptoms appeared or, if they do not have symptoms, 48 hours before they got tested.
- Close contact is contact for more than 15 minutes, less than 2 metres apart, without a mask.
- you were asked to get tested by the public health authorities
- you received an exposure notification via the COVID Alert app.
Designated testing clinics, designated assessment clinics and mobile clinics have been set up to ensure access to a test for people who need one based on indications established by public health.
To find the testing centre nearest to you, visit the website for your region.
You can also consult the list of walk-in COVID-19 testing centres and wait times.
Testing strategy and prioritization
The testing strategy for COVID-19 in Québec takes each region’s specific context into account. The number of tests available in each region is calculated based on the size of the population, but also on the intensity of community transmission observed there.
Testing is prioritized based on the highest probability of finding cases in order to quickly begin investigations and contact tracing and thereby control outbreaks.
If you receive a call and see Santé publique displayed on your telephone, it is important to answer and cooperate with the public health authorities.
Types of tests
There are several types of tests to determine if a person has, or has had, the disease. The most commonly used test in Québec is the one that detects parts of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the nose and throat.
Health Canada has not authorized any sample collection kits or over-the-counter tests for COVID-19 for use by the general public. This type of test is not recommended as it might give a false result or the results might be misinterpreted.
List of regions (in French only)
For more details on how to get tested, visit the website for your region.
11 - Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine
Last update: December 18, 2020