If you are symptomatic, get tested for COVID-19 immediately.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority is advising anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, to get tested immediately. Anyone who receives a negative test result but continues to experience COVID-19 symptoms should be retested. Getting tested and knowing your status is an important step to protecting yourself and others against COVID-19.
To support a faster contact tracing response, and the most reliable test results possible, the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s revised Testing Strategy:
- Encourages immediate testing for any individual who has symptoms of COVID-19; and
- Instructs individuals who receive a negative test result but continue to experience COVID-19 symptoms to be retested
Testing is part of the Saskatchewan Health Authority's strategy to limit the spread of COVID-19 and is available to anyone for any reason.
You can get a referral to a community testing centre by phoning:
- HealthLine 811
- Your family physician
- Your nurse practitioner
In Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton and Prince Albert, you can also get tested at a drive-thru testing site without a referral or appointment. See drive-thru information.
Please call your family physician or HealthLine 811 if you have questions regarding COVID-19 and your health. HealthLine 811 can help you with screening for COVID-19 to determine if a test is recommended for you and refer you for testing if indicated. Testing will be prioritized according to established criteria placing higher priority on referrals that are most urgent, including individuals who are symptomatic, health care workers, students, teachers and school staff.
Testing continues to be strongly recommended for:
- Anyone who has unexplained new or worsening symptoms (even mild symptoms) that may include one or more of the following:
- muscle and/or joint aches and pains
- sore throat
- runny nose
- nasal congestion
- loss of appetite (difficulty feeding for children)
- loss of sense of taste or smell
- shortness of breath
- difficulty breathing
Testing is also recommended for:
- Patients being admitted to an acute care hospital for a stay anticipated to be greater than 24 hours. This includes all expectant mothers entering a health facility to give birth.
- Symptomatic individuals who are homeless or living in other vulnerable settings.
- Health care workers caring for certain immunocompromised patients.
- Anyone working outside the home.
- Teachers and staff in elementary and high schools throughout the school year.
Your local public health official may also advise you to be tested if you have been identified as being at risk following contact with someone known or suspected of having COVID-19, or if you have been identified as being at high risk due to the active spread of COVID-19 in your workplace or community. Public health will contact you if you need to be tested under these circumstances.
Everyone should be familiar with self-monitoring and self-isolation precautions in order to keep you and those around you safe.
The Mandatory Self-Isolation page outlines the isolation requirements that are included in the Saskatchewan Public Health Order.
Anyone can get tested for COVID-19. Remember, you don’t have to feel sick to have COVID-19. You could be infected with the virus and have no symptoms which can then spread to other people. Getting tested on a regular basis and knowing your status is an important step to protecting yourself and others against COVID-19.
Some examples of when you should get tested are:
- If you plan to visit a more vulnerable family member
- If you have visited in close proximity with someone you haven’t seen in a while
- If you have travelled out of province
- If you work in an office setting with lots of people
Knowing your COVID-19 status can help protect your kids, your parents, your grandparents, your friends, your coworkers, your business or workplace and your community.
Currently, anyone can request testing. However, testing is prioritized for symptomatic individuals. There is an established criteria placing higher priority on referrals that are most urgent. Test sites will prioritize booking tests for symptomatic patients, those directed by contact teams or MHOs and select other groups.
While Saskatchewan has been supporting asymptomatic COVID-19 testing throughout the pandemic event, symptomatic residents were advised to get tested 48 hours after symptom onset to reduce the risk of false negative test results.
Recent guidance from the European Centre for Disease Control and the increased risk of variants of concern in Canada has resulted in an update to the policy: if you are symptomatic, get tested for COVID-19 immediately. Asymptomatic testing remains available. High rates of testing allow public health to effectively track transmission in our province; effective self-isolation and contact investigations will prevent additional COVID-19 cases.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, get tested as soon as possible. Anyone who receives a negative test result but continues to experience symptoms should be retested. Getting tested and knowing your status is an important step to protecting yourself and others against COVID-19.
The laboratories follow criteria for prioritizing specimen analysis as well:
- Symptomatic individuals in priority groups (patients in acute care, healthcare workers and first responders, residents in long term care or personal care homes, teachers and educational staff and anyone that Medical Health Officers deem a high priority for testing).
- Symptomatic individuals in all population groups.
- Asymptomatic individuals in priority groups (patients in acute care, healthcare workers and first responders, residents in long term care or personal care homes, teachers and educational staff, people who are part of a contact tracing, outbreak or cluster investigation).
- Asymptomatic individuals in all population groups.
If you have questions about COVID-19, you can: