Learn more about COVID-19 in Saskatchewan:

Renseignements en français

Google Translate Disclaimer

A number of pages on the Government of Saskatchewan's website have been professionally translated in French. These translations are identified by a yellow box in the right or left rail that resembles the link below. The home page for French-language content on this site can be found at:

Renseignements en Français

Where an official translation is not available, Google™ Translate can be used. Google™ Translate is a free online language translation service that can translate text and web pages into different languages. Translations are made available to increase access to Government of Saskatchewan content for populations whose first language is not English.

Software-based translations do not approach the fluency of a native speaker or possess the skill of a professional translator. The translation should not be considered exact, and may include incorrect or offensive language. The Government of Saskatchewan does not warrant the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information translated by this system. Some files or items cannot be translated, including graphs, photos and other file formats such as portable document formats (PDFs).

Any person or entities that rely on information obtained from the system does so at his or her own risk. Government of Saskatchewan is not responsible for any damage or issues that may possibly result from using translated website content. If you have any questions about Google™ Translate, please visit: Google™ Translate FAQs.

Testing Information

Top

1. When to Get Tested

Universal Testing

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.

LAUNCH SELF-ASSESSMENT

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:
    • fever
    • cough
    • headache
    • muscle and/or joint aches and pains
    • sore throat
    • chills
    • runny nose
    • nasal congestion
    • conjunctivitis
    • dizziness
    • fatigue
    • nausea/vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • 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. 

Testing Prioritization

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 immediatelyAsymptomatic 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:

Top

2. Where to Get Tested

Testing for COVID-19 in Saskatchewan is available by referral from HealthLine 811 or a health care provider. Additional testing options are now also being offered.

  • You can still receive a referral for COVID-19 testing through HealthLine 811 or a health care provider. That referral will help you access an appointment at a testing site in your community.
  • Drive-thru testing sites do not require a referral and are available seven days a week in Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton and Prince Albert.
  • Some smaller communities offer options for testing such as drive-thru sites, pop-up sites or walk-in sites. These testing options are advertised within those communities in advance of the days they are offered.
  • In response to an increase in cases in specific settings or areas, the SHA may offer mobile or pop-up site testing (eg. schools, workplaces, communities).  Watch for local information and on the Saskatchewan Health Authority Facebook and Twitter social media channels.

Patients are advised to use this self-assessment tool to determine if they should be tested for COVID-19. Those who fit the criteria and suspect they may have COVID-19 can obtain a referral to a community testing site by phoning 811 or contacting their family physician or nurse practitioner.

Addresses for specific for COVID-19 Testing sites and COVID-19 Assessment and Treatment Centres are provided to patients after referrals are made and testing is booked. Patients will be informed of the address during those conversations.

Testing Sites: Testing locations perform COVID-19 screening and testing only. No patient assessment or care is performed at these locations. Some communities may offer walk-in or pop-up testing sites; those will be advertised in advance.

For information on testing in schools, please review the Safe Schools Plan.

Assiniboia Melfort
Beauval Melville
Birch Narrows Montreal Lake
Black Lake Moose Jaw
Buffalo Narrows Moosomin
Buffalo River Nipawin
Canoe Lake North Battleford
Cumberland House & Cumberland House FN Onion Lake
Deschambault Lake Outlook
English River Pelican Narrows
Estevan Prince Albert
Fond du Lac Red Earth & Shoal Lake
Fort Qu'Appelle Regina
Grenfell Rosthern
Hatchet Lake Saskatoon
Hudson Bay Shellbrook
Humboldt Southend
Ile La Crosse Stanley Mission
Kamsack Swift Current
Kindersley Tisdale
La Loche Turtleford
La Ronge Unity
Lloydminster Wadena
Maidstone/Lashburn Waterhen Lake
Maple Creek Weyburn
Meadow Lake Yorkton
Top

3. Drive-Thru Testing Sites

Drive-thru testing sites do not require a referral and are available seven days a week in Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton and Prince Albert.

Drive-thru site locations, hours and wait times are available on the SHA website

Drive-Thru Testing Sites Q&A

Top

4. Test Results

COVID-19 test results are conducted at multiple locations around the province within Saskatchewan Health Authority laboratories, including the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory. When results are positive, the local Medical Health Officer and the ordering physician are quickly informed. Patients with positive test results will be notified of their results by medical authorities.

The laboratories prioritize COVID-19 tests from symptomatic individuals before asymptomatic testing. We are working to maintain a 24-48 hour turnaround time for test results from symptomatic COVID-19 suspected cases. Delays in results of asymptomatic screening tests may be expected depending on demand.

Factors such as the volume of tests being processed or the distance the test is transported may affect the length of time it takes to notify the patient.

The fastest way to receive your COVID-19 test results is online by signing up for MySaskHealthRecord at eHealthsask.ca. Test results are also available through phone notification, family physician (book for appointment).

Test Results for Travellers

  • The Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Authority are still advising against unnecessary travel, especially internationally. However, if you do decide to travel, it is important to follow the recommended travel guidelines.
  • The SHA is working hard to provide test results in a timely manner. However, it takes time to process and analyze tests and testing is prioritized for symptomatic individuals before asymptomatic testing.
  • It is unlikely that getting results should take more than seven days. However, if you require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before your flight, research the requirements of the airline as well as your destination (as they may be different). Take into account testing and test result turnaround time as you plan your travel.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is partnering with Quantum Genetix Canada to provide an independent testing service as an option for asymptomatic testing, specifically travellers who require proof of a negative COVID-19 test for their airline or destination.

This is testing will be available starting in December and is user-pay. Residents and businesses who are interested can learn more at http://quantumgenetix.com/covidtesting/.

The agreement between the SHA and Quantum Genetix would see the company collecting and processing test specimens for asymptomatic people. All patient information collected would go to the SHA, and any specimen that is found to be positive will be forwarded to the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory for confirmation and verification. All testing performed will be included in the daily provincial case report, posted at saskatchewan.ca/COVID19.

If you would like to receive your COVID-19 test results online, sign up for MySaskHealthRecord at eHealthsask.ca. Click on the blue "MySaskHealthRecord" button in the middle of the page.

Top

5. Rapid Testing

"Rapid testing" refers to safe and simple point of care COVID-19 testing that delivers a result in about 15-minutes. Most tests can be used with a nasal swab, which takes only a few seconds to collect a sample using use a swab that goes into the upper part of each nostril.

Saskatchewan has created a strategy to deploy more than 700,000 of these rapid point-of-care tests for asymptomatic* individuals. Received through a federal government allocation, the tests will be used in a variety of settings.

Along with appropriate training, rapid tests will be offered to:

  • Long-term and Personal Care homes
  • Shelters
  • Detox facilities
  • Group homes
  • Schools
  • Ambulance services (self-testing)
  • Fire services (self-testing)
  • Police services (self-testing)
  • Participating pharmacies and dental offices (self-testing)
  • Saskatchewan Health Authority health care workers (self-testing)
  • Third parties who will be contracted to perform rapid tests at congregate facilities that do not have capacity to use the tests themselves.

Members of the general public can access rapid testing through SHA-run pop up clinics, where there is an increased rate of community transmission. The public will be advised of these clinics through news releases, local and social media.

Rapid tests from the federal allocation that are provided to individuals for self-testing may also be used for staff, family members or the clients that they serve, if appropriate. For example, a dentist may offer a free test to a patient prior to an aerosol-generating dental procedure, or a pharmacist may offer a free test to a client before teaching them how to take insulin.

Any rapid point-of-care tests that return a positive result will need to be confirmed with a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Negative tests do not need to be confirmed unless the individual has symptoms of COVID-19.

Many of the identified sectors may not have the capacity to use the rapid tests on their own, so the Ministry of Health is working with SaskBuilds and Procurement to develop a Request for Pre-Qualifications (RFPQ) tender for third-party providers to deliver testing to some locations. This will enhance the number and variety of venues where rapid testing is offered. Interested businesses can find the tender posted to SaskTenders.

The Ministry of Health and Saskatchewan Health Authority will work with various sectors and provider groups to ensure training and support is in place to use these testing resources to their full potential.

Agencies, businesses and organizations interested in providing rapid antigen testing to their employees can access the following information:

For more information and to enrol your agency, business or organization in this program, contact us at Antigentestingintake@saskhealthauthority.ca.

There are two potential processes for physicians interested in rapid antigen testing:
  1. Physicians, who are interested in providing antigen testing for their patients and/or staff through their practice, please contact us at Antigentestingintake@saskhealthauthority.ca.
  2. Physicians who work on-site at SHA or Affiliate Healthcare facilities may be eligible to participate in the at-home testing program for Saskatchewan Health Authority and Affiliates Healthcare Workers. More information about this program is available.

* Point-of-care rapid antigen tests should only be done on people not experiencing COVID symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should go for a COVID test at the current testing sites or drive-thru testing options where they will receive a PCR test. Individuals with symptoms can phone HealthLine 811 to book a test as well.

Top

6. COVID-19 Rapid Testing For Schools

The government has shipped 100,000 rapid test to schools as part of our efforts to manage transmission and keep students and staff safe. School divisions and schools are working with their local medical health officer (MHO) to determine if and when rapid testing within schools should be used.

Note: Not all schools will be testing. If rapid testing is offered to students and school staff, participation is voluntary and parents of minors will be required to sign consent forms.

The local Medical Health Officer (MHO), in consultation with Directors of Education, will identify schools where COVID-19 testing should be conducted by considering the following risk factors:

  • Positive case(s) identified in the school population, particularly if case(s) present during infectious period;
  • Variants of Concern (VoC) identified in school or local community;
  • Increasing rate of transmission in community, including test positivity exceeds 5%;
  • Health equity concerns; and
  • School density.

A Frequently Asked Questions document is available for parents and caregivers.

Top

7. Who to Contact for More Information

We understand that residents have questions about COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.

If you have questions about COVID-19 or your health, please call your family physician or healthcare provider or HealthLine 811.

Public inquiries may be directed to COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca

We need your feedback to improve saskatchewan.ca. Help us improve