OTTAWA -- Ottawa residents over the age of 60 with symptoms of COVID-19 can now be tested for the virus.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches announced the new criteria for testing during the Friday afternoon media conference with reporters.

Ottawa Public Health now recommends that any Ottawa resident 60 years of age or older, who is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms can go for testing. COVID-19 testing is available at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena or the COVID-19 Care Clinics.

Dr. Etches says Ottawa Public Health can expand the testing criteria due to an expansion of testing capacity in Ottawa and across Ontario.

According to Ottawa Public Health, COVID-19 symptoms include feeling feverish, cough, or difficulty breathing.

Less common symptoms include unexplained fatigue, delirium, falls, acute functional decline, worsening of chronic conditions, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, chills, headaches, croup, or loss of taste/smell.

Ottawa Public Health says COVID-19 may also present as new or worsening respiratory symptoms such as: sore throat, cough, congested/runny nose, sneezing, hoarse voice, or difficulty swallowing.

The following list of individuals are recommended to visit the COVID-19 Assessment Centre or COVID-19 Care Clinics if they have COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Ottawa residents 60 years and older
  • Health care workers or staff who work in health care facilities and members of their households
  • First responders such as firefighters, police and paramedics
  • Critical infrastructure workers, including grocery stores, food services, maintenance and transportation workers, and utilities
  • Cross-border workers
  • Caregivers and care providers
  • Individuals with frequent health care contact such as patients with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy, dialysis therapy, pre-or-post transplant, pregnancy, and newborns.
  • A close contact of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
  • Returning international travellers
  • Members of remote, isolated, rural, and/or indigenous communities