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.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority has determined that in order to both facilitate public health contact tracing to begin as soon as possible, and minimize false negative test results which will miss COVID-19 cases altogether, the best testing strategy moving forward should:
- Encourage immediate testing for any individual upon recognition of COVID-19-compatible symptoms
- Instruct individuals who receive a negative test result but continues 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 made available to anyone wishing to be tested. You do not need to travel internationally or have symptoms to be tested.
Any individual can be tested. You can get a referral to a community testing centre by phoning:
- HealthLine 811
- Your family physician
- Your nurse practitioner
In Regina and Saskatoon, 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 by dialing 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 or health care workers.
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.
- Any one working outside the home, including those currently working or returning to work as part of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, who desires a test.
- Teachers and staff in elementary and high schools, ahead of and during 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.
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: