WATCH: COVID-19 Testing Moving to Appointment Based Only


The Ontario government has announced COVID-19 testing in the province is moving to appointment based only.

Speaking on Friday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford says the move is necessary as we move into the colder months so people aren't standing in line outside at assessment centre.

"The modeling we released this week demonstrates the absolute necessity to take action now to reverse current trends and protect our hospital capacity," said Premier Ford. "With the weather changing and more people moving indoors, the decision to introduce new restrictions on restaurants, gyms and other businesses was difficult. However, we will do whatever is necessary, acting on the advice of our public health experts, to turn the tide on this second wave and keep everyone safe."

According to a release from the province, the appointment-based testing begins October 6, and is expected to provide certainty to patients as to when they can receive a test.

Starting this Sunday, assessment centres will discontinue walk-in testing services, so the province's lab network can make significant progress in processing tests and to allow assessment centres the necessary time to reset, deep clean and ensure preparedness for the new appointment-based model.

Also speaking on Friday, Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province will continue with mobile testing and pop-up testing centres to reach vulnerable populations and provide targeted testing for long-term care, congregate care, and other vulnerable populations.