Public health: doctor referral no longer required for COVID-19 testing

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Public health officials say local residents experiencing symptoms can now be tested right away for COVID-19.

“You don’t have to wait for a doctor’s referral. Things are ready to go,” said Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) spokesperson Chuck Ferguson on April 16.

The move was made in response to the Ministry of Health ramping up testing and updating criteria for who may be tested.

Previously officials had required a doctor’s referral, but public health is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to go to an assessment centre.

According to the new criteria, people should go to an assessment centre if they have at least one of the following: fever and/or new onset of cough or difficulty breathing – or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • chills;
  • muscle aches;
  • fatigue;
  • headache;
  • sore throat;
  • nasal congestion;
  • lost sense of smell or taste;
  • digestive issues (nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain); or
  • for young children and infants: sluggishness or lack of appetite.

The assessment centre in Guelph is located at the Victoria Road Recreation Centre, 151 Victoria Rd. N., and is open 8am to 8pm daily.

In Orangeville, the assessment centre is at 140 Rolling Hills Drive via Highway 10. Hours are 9am to 5pm daily.

There is currently no assessment centre in Wellington County.

There is a self-assessment tool on the public health website that will give clear direction on what action to take given the presenting symptoms.

For more information on assessment sites and testing visit the WDGPH website.

As of April 17, there are 188 total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region, with 49 resolved cases.

The geographical breakdown of cases is:

  • Wellington County, 27 total cases, nine resolved cases, one death;
  • Dufferin County, 62 cases, 17 resolved cases, four deaths; and
  • Guelph, 82 cases, 21 resolved cases, four deaths.