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.

Priority testing

Due to an increase in the number of infections, PCR testing at the screening clinic is now reserved for certain higher priority clients.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, but are not a priority client, it is recommended that you do a rapid test at home. If you are unable to get rapid tests, self-isolate respecting the Instructions for people with COVID-19.

  • Health and social services workers and subcontractors providing care and services having contact with users in the following settings:
    • Public institutions
    • Family-type resource and intermediate resources
    • Private seniors' homes
    • Residential centres, or residential and long-term care centres 
    • Home-based social economy enterprises
    • Service employment paycheque arrangement
    • Respite home
    • Birthing centres
    • Residential settings
    • Community accommodation resources
  • Users receiving care and social services in a care setting or residential setting
  • People who are homeless or in residential distress
  • People from First Nations, Inuit or Métis communities and people travelling to these communities to work
  • Contacts and symptomatic or asymptomatic people in the context of confirmed or suspected outbreaks in high-risk settings :
    • Public institutions
    • Family-type resource and intermediate resources
    • Private seniors' homes
    • Residential centres, or residential and long-term care centres 
    • Detention centers
    • Exceptionally, certain other outbreak settings on special recommendation from a regional director public health
  • Police officers, first responder firefighters, ambulance technicians symptomatic,
  • School staff and those of the various daycare centers in the absence of rapid tests in the environment.
  • Other persons in accordance with provincial guidelines or directives.

Confirmation of your membership in this group will be requested from the screening center (e.g. employee card, confirmation of surgery, proof of residence in collective accommodation establishments, etc.).

Who has to get tested

You have symptoms and want to get tested

If you have flu-like symptoms or symptoms similar to COVID-19 and are a priority client, it is recommended that you get tested at a screening centre.

If you have symptoms and are not a priority client, it is recommended that you do a rapid test at home. If you are unable to get rapid tests, self-isolate respecting the

Instructions for people with COVID-19 This hyperlink will open in a new window..

You do not have symptoms and want to get tested

If you do not have symptoms and you have had contact with someone living with COVID-19 see the page Instructions for people who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 to know what action to take.

Testing centres

Due to the increase in the number of cases of infection, PCR tests performed at screening clinics are now reserved for priority clients.

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.

Make an appointment to get tested

Certains walk-in testing centres may reach full capacity before they close due to high traffic. Before visiting a walk-in testing centre, visit the website for your region.

You can also consult the list of COVID-19 screening test centres and wait times This hyperlink will open in a new window..

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.

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.