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Local COVID-19 testing opens up – appointments needed

To increase the number of COVID-19 tests being conducted across the province, the Ontario Ministry of Health has expanded testing criteria to all Ontarians who have even mild symptoms of the virus, or who are concerned they have been exposed to COVID-19.

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) and local assessment centres have expanded their process to allow all interested individuals access to testing by appointment.

Residents of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties are requested not to go to an assessment centre without an appointment – call or text ahead and pre-register.

Individuals with no symptoms of illness who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, or who may be at risk of exposure through their employment (i.e. front-line workers) are encouraged to contact their local assessment centre directly to book an appointment for testing:

For the Picton assessment centre, call or text (text preferred) 613-813-6864.

For Bancroft, Belleville, or Trenton assessment centres, call 613-961-5544 (to avoid long distance charges in the Bancroft area, call 613-332-2825 ext. 2222).

All assessment centres are currently operating between 9 am and 5pm. Picton is open seven days a week, all other centres are open weekdays only.

Individuals with at least one symptom of COVID-19 or who have or questions about COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their health care provider, the HPEPH COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500 / 1-800-267-2803, or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

Public health reminds residents that receiving a negative test result offers no future protection against contracting COVID-19 and should not be cause to reduce vigilance.

Regardless of test results, all residents are reminded to continue to self-monitor for new symptoms, practise physical distancing whenever leaving home, maintain good hand hygiene, and avoid gatherings of more than five people.

The province also recommends individuals wear a face covering when physical distancing is difficult or not possible. In addition, all residents are advised to stay home when ill and seek assessment if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time.

Visit the HPEPH website, hpePublicHealth.ca for current information and answers to many questions about COVID-19. Individuals who still have questions after reviewing web content can call the COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500 / 1-800-267-2803.

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