FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Appointments, Test Results

  1. How do I book an appointment?
    If your employer is a CHL subscription client, you've received a custom digital link to access your company's booking portal.

    For all other testing that is paid for directly by the individual, you can book your appointment by clicking here.
  2. Do you accept walk-ins?
    Yes. We offer testing to the public at Canada HealthLabs Toronto retail testing centre on the Concourse Level of TD Centre, located in the PATH walkway, Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, excluding statutory holidays. Please be sure to bring valid government-issued identification with you to your testing appointment.

    Canada HealthLabs
    TD Centre, Concourse Level
    77 King St W (North Tower)
    Toronto, ON M5K 2A1
    416-216-4646



    PATH location - TD Centre

  3. How can I view my results?
    Access your results and test certificate using the secure link sent to your email or texted to your cell number, depending on which option you selected at registration.

    If your test is for travel purposes, the QR code on your testing certificate allows inspectors to confirm it is a valid certificate issued by a certified lab. This can be presented electronically or in printed form.
  4. Can I use the link I receive with my results more than once?
    Yes. The results link you receive by email or SMS will stay active for 72 hours. It is a secure link to be used only by you to access your results.

    CHL recommends you download your results or take a screen shot of the results for easy access when you're asked to produce proof of a negative COVID test, or in case you do not have an Internet connection where and when you need to access your results.

    After 72 hours, the link expires and is no longer valid, to protect your personal health information.
  5. What is the QR code used for in the top right-hand corner of the testing certificate?
    Each CHL testing certificate contains an additional validation feature - a QR code - which allows anyone inspecting your testing certificate to confirm the certificate was issued by an accredited lab and the information on your downloaded certificate (name, address, etc.) matches the information on CHL's secure servers.

    You can access your results by pointing the camera on your mobile device at the QR link, and then clicking on the link to open the document in your device's browser. The QR code can be used by displaying the testing certificate on your mobile device or computer screen. It can also be scanned from a printed copy of your certificate.
  6. Can I print my CHL testing certificate?
    Yes. Use the QR link to download your testing certificate. If you have access to a printer, you can print the certificate so you have it in hardcopy form. The QR code can be scanned from either a paper or digital copy of your testing certificate.
  7. I received my testing certificate, and realized I entered incorrect information when I registered, or didn't enter my passport number (required for travel). What do I do?
    Your testing certificate contains the personal information you entered during registration. If you made an error, it is possible for CHL to modify your registration information and re-issue your testing certificate.

    Contact the CHL support desk at 647-510-0943 to request a change to your registration information. Change requests are not accepted by email. When you call the support desk, you'll be asked questions to verify your identity, and what change or addition you need to your registration profile. Once the change is made, click on your registration link again to access an updated testing certificate.

    CHL support is available 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM (EST) Monday to Friday, and from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (EST) on Saturday & Sunday.
  8. I haven't received an email or SMS notice for my test results. What do I do?
    PCR tests notices should be delivered to you by email and/or SMS within 18-24 hours. If you entered a valid cell phone number and email, you'll receive notification through both.

    If you haven't received an email notification with a results link, check your email Junk and Spam folders. It will be sent from "Verto Support" with the subject line "Canada HealthLabs - Your results are ready to view."

    If you haven't received an SMS notice that your results are ready, there could be an entry error in the cellular telephone number. However, all results notifications are sent to the email entered during the online registration process.

    For customer assistance, please contact us at support@canadalabs.ca or call 647-510-0943.
  9. I booked an appointment, but now I can't make it. How do I cancel or change my appointment?
    If you paid by credit card

    If you booked your appointment on our public site (www.canadahealthlabs.ca) and paid by credit card, you have two choices:

    a) To change the day or time of your appointment, call the CHL Testing Centre at (416) 216-4646 and ask to change your appointment to another available timeslot. there is no change fee for this service, provided you contact CHL before 5:00 PM on the day before your appointment.

    You can also email info@canadalabs.ca at least one day in advance of your booking, listing your name, date and time of your booked appointment, and your requested alternative date and time. CHL will respond with either a confirmation of your new booking, or with alternate dates and/or times close to your requested time.

    b) To cancel your appointment, please contact CHL's Testing Centre at (416) 216-4646 and request a cancellation. You can also email info@canadalabs.ca and request a cancellation, listing your name, and the date and time of your booked appointment.

    Appointments must be cancelled by 5:00 PM the day prior to receive a full refund. Credit card refunds will be sent within 72 hours for appointments that are successfully cancelled. If you miss your scheduled appointment without cancelling, you will not be eligible for a refund.

    PLEASE NOTE: Using the blue Cancel Appointment button in your email confirmation will not automatically refund your credit card payment. You must contact CHL at least the day before your appointment date to request a cancellation at (416) 216-4646 or info@canadalabs.ca and provide your name and the date and time of your appointment. You will receive an email confirming the status of your cancellation refund request.

    I booked as an employee of a subscriber organization

    If your employer has a subscription service agreement with CHL, and you need to cancel or change the date of your appointment, search for your confirmation email from Verto Support with the subject line "Booking confirmation for COVID-19 Testing with Canada HealthLabs", and click on the blue "Cancel Appointment" button. Once you have received confirmation your appointment has been cancelled, you can reschedule a new appointment by using the same link provided by your employer.
  10. My employer is a CHL subscription client - Do I book my tests on this website?
    NO - if your employer has a subscription arrangement with CHL that you are authorized to access, you must use the unique URL token your employer provided to access the customized subscription service.

    If you try to book your test through this Canada HealthLab public website, you'll be required to pay for the test directly, and it would not be included under your employer's subscription agreement.

    If your employer's subscription allows for a discounted price for family members or own-use travel, your employer will have provided you with a special discount code to use on this website. Click on "Book appointment" on this website, and before entering your credit card for payment, click on View Details and enter the discount/promo code provided by your employer.

    If you have any questions on the details of your employer's CHL subscription, please contact your company's Human Resources department.
  11. I am booking multiple appointments for my family. Do I have to book each appointment separately?
    Yes. CHL follows stringent guidelines when collecting personal information. Each patient record is created separately to ensure personal information is accurate and secure.

    If you are booking for family members who don't have their own mobile device, email, or cellular number, create separate appointments under each name, and use your email and cell number for their appointments too. You'll receive a separate link to access each person's results to present for inspection while travelling.
  12. Should I use my work or personal email or cell number when booking an appointment?
    This is up to you, or may be guided by your employer, if you're being tested under your employer's CHL subscription. The email or cellular number you use does not affect your ability to access your test results online.
  13. What happens if my COVID-19 test result is positive?
    My rapid antigen test is positive If you test positive with a rapid antigen test, it isn't certain that you have COVID-19. If you're not showing any symptoms but test positive using an antigen test, this is considered a preliminary positive, and must be confirmed by a PCR test at an Ontario Public Health COVID-19 assessment centre immediately.

    CHL is unable to provide confirmatory PCR tests for anyone who has tested positive with a rapid antigen test. Public Health guidelines require CHL to refer anyone who tests positive using a rapid antigen test to an Ontario Public Health COVID-19 assessment centre for further testing.

    My PCR test is positive If you test positive from a laboratory-based PCR test, you most likely have the virus. In this instance, it is essential that you self-isolate, and notify anyone that you have had direct contact with in the last 48 hours. CHL is required by Ontario law to notify the local Public Health Unit of your positive COVID-19 status, and they may be in contact with you to assess your case.

    If your PCR test was for travel purposes, you are NOT eligible to travel until you are able to provide evidence that you've recovered from the virus.

About Canada HealthLabs

  1. Why should I choose Canada HealthLabs for COVID-19 testing?
    Testing for COVID-19 is CHL's sole focus.

    CHL provides high quality COVID-19 testing services faster and at a lower cost that most other labs. CHL testing includes online registration and reporting, so there's no paper processing delays in accessing your results.

    PCR tests for travel are turned around in 12-18 hours. CHL's lower nasal or oral swabs are much less invasive than the nasopharyngeal swabs used by most public health assessment centres. You collect your sample in the presence of CHL staff, which minimizes contact and reduces appointment time.

    CHL offers two types of tests to determine if you are currently infected by COVID-19:

    • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing - the "gold standard" test option delivers 99.6% accuracy, and is the test demanded by most countries - including Canada - for travel testing

    • Rapid antigen tests - faster and more cost-effective than PCR tests, however antigen tests accuracy is 60-70%

    Many employer return-to-work plans use a combination of routine rapid antigen tests, and regular PCR testing every one or two weeks.
  2. Who does CHL provide COVID-19 testing for?
    CHL provides asymptomatic testing - testing for persons who have no symptoms and who have no reason to believe they have COVID-19.

    CHL customers include individuals and families who require tests for travel, work, or personal assurance, and groups for conferences and events or company health and safety requirements.

    CHL customized services include on-site collection and testing for employers as part of their workplace safety and return to work plans, and for conferences and other large events.

    Testing for individuals and travellers is available by appointment, and by walking in to CHL's downtown Toronto testing centre on the Concourse Level of the TD Centre during regular business hours.

    The test type you need will depend on the purpose for testing, and the requirements of the organization requesting the test.

    To find out about CHL's subscription and customized testing solutions for employers and event organizers, please email us at info@canadalabs.ca.

Getting Tested

  1. How will the test be performed?
    The sample you'll be asked to provide depends on the test type:

    • PCR test - with few exceptions, CHL's PCR tests are collected via an oral and lower nasal swab. This is less invasive than the nasopharyngeal swab often used by public health assessment centres. Canada HealthLabs' oral and lower nasal swab collection kits have a similar sensitivity rate (a measure of test accuracy) to the nasopharyngeal swab, without the discomfort.

      CHL can also provide saliva collection kits, where the individual collects a quantity of saliva in a collection tube. Regardless of the sample collection method, PCR tests are analyzed in a lab. CHL's PCR test results are provided by secure online link and by text 12-18 hours after collection.

    • Antigen test - sometimes called a rapid antigen test or rapid test - samples are collected using lower nasal swabs. This non-intrusive collection method is not the same as the nasopharyngeal swab commonly used by public health assessment centres, which is often described as an uncomfortable and invasive. Antigen tests are a point-of-care test that is performed onsite, and results are known in under 30 minutes.

      The results of an antigen test observed by CHL staff are logged in CHL's online platform. An email and text will provide access to a digital testing certificate. The certificate includes a QR code for verification that the test result was conducted by a certified lab.

    • Antibody tests - otherwise known as serology testing - uses a small blood sample to test for COVID-19 antibodies. A lancet is used to prick the end of your finger, and the blood sample is collected on a paper card that is used to determine the level of antibodies in your system. Test results are available within a few days and accessible through the online results platform.
  2. What test do I need for travel?
    Travel test requirements vary by jurisdiction and change based on COVID-19 infection rates.

    Travellers must confirm requirements with transportation providers and authorities in the travel destination. It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have the right test for each travel destination.

    CHL provides collection, testing, and online test certificate access for the two COVID-19 travel tests required by most travel carriers and destinations:

    • A rapid antigen test - this point-of-care test uses a lower nasal swab, and can be completed at our testing facility or at a pre-arranged offsite location, with results available in under 30 minutes.

    • A PCR test - this lab-based test uses either an oral and lower nasal swab or a saliva sample collected at our testing facility or at a pre-arranged offsite location, with the results available in 12-18 hours.

    CHL delivers all travel testing results and travel certificates online using a secure link delivered by email or by text. CHL testing certificates contain a QR code that meets or exceeds the validation requirements of most jurisdictions, including Canada and the U.S.
  3. How long does it take to get my results?
    PCR test results are usually available within 12-18 hours from sample collection. Sample collection usually takes less than five minutes.

    For rapid antigen tests, results are available within 15 minutes of sample is collection. The entire process for an antigen test is less than 30 minutes to get your results.

    Results of all CHL tests are provided electronically via a link sent to you by email or text message. You can access your testing certificate using your mobile device or computer with an Internet connection.
  4. Can I collect my travel sample at home and bring it to the CHL Testing Centre?
    No. A valid COVID-19 travel test requires that sample collection be observed by lab personnel. The testing certificate issued by CHL validates that the individual providing the specimen sample matches the name used on the testing certificate. Please be sure to bring valid government-issued ID with you to your CHL testing centre appointment.

COVID-19 Testing Facts

  1. When should I be tested for COVID-19?
    COVID-19 testing is conducted in two types of situations:

    Symptomatic - If you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (see FAQ 25 below). Symptomatic individuals should go to an Ontario Public Health COVID-19 assessment centre immediately.

    CHL does not offer testing for symptomatic individuals. If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate and arrange for a test at your local Ontario Public Health COVID-19 assessment centre.

    Asymptomatic - Asymptomatic means you are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Asymptomatic testing is used to confirm you are not positive for the virus, and is used for travel purposes, workplace safety, and congregate settings such as conferences, and concerts.

    CHL provides this type of testing to individuals and families for travel, work, personal assurance, and events. To book an appointment to get tested, click here.

    Anyone with symptoms should be tested at an Ontario Public Health COVID-19 assessment centre immediately. People without symptoms who have had close contact with someone who is or may be infected should contact the local public health unit for guidance.
  2. What is the difference between a PCR and a rapid antigen test?
    The PCR test and the antigen test are the two tests used to find out if you are infected with COVID-19.

    • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) - tests for the presence of the virus's genetic material or its fragments. PCR is the most reliable and accurate test for detecting active infection. PCR tests are analyzed in a laboratory and can take 24-48 hours to produce results. CHL provides test results within 12-18 hours from sample collection.

    • Antigen test - detects bits of proteins on the surface of the virus called antigens. Antigen tests typically take 15 to 30 minutes. Antigen tests or rapid antigen tests are most accurate when used within a few days of the start of symptoms, which is when the largest amount of virus is present in your body.
  3. Which COVID-19 diagnostic test is more accurate?
    The PCR test is more accurate than the antigen test. The antigen test is faster, but is less sensitive than the PCR test. Because the antigen test is less accurate, your healthcare provider or local public health unit may request a PCR test to confirm a negative antigen test result.
  4. What is the difference between a diagnostic test (PCR or antigen) and an antibody (or serology) test for COVID-19?
    Diagnostic tests such as PCR or antigen tests determine if a patient is currently infected with the COVID-19 virus. These tests are used to screen travellers for COVID-19. They do not detect if you have been previously infected with COVID-19.

    Antibody tests, which are sometimes referred to as serology tests, find out if you have antibodies for COVID-19. If you do have antibodies, this suggests you were infected with the virus in the past. COVID-19 antibodies are also found in vaccinated individuals who have successfully developed antibodies following vaccination. Antibody tests do not detect if you are currently infected with the virus, and therefore are not used as travel tests.
  5. Which COVID-19 test is most accurate?
    The most accurate COVID-19 diagnostic test is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Most jurisdictions - including Canada - require a negative PCR test for entry. CHL delivers PCR test results in 12-18 hours.

    Antigen tests or rapid antigen tests are accepted by some jurisdictions for travellers. Travellers are advised to double-check before their flight that their travel destination accepts a negative antigen test for entry. CHL delivers antigen test results in under 15 minutes.
  6. When should I consider getting a COVID-19 antibody test?
    If you suspect you had COVID-19 previously - even if you never showed signs of illness - an antibody test can assess recent or prior infection. Antibody responses to the virus take time to develop and vary between individuals.

    For the most accurate results, it is recommended an antibody test be ordered three to four weeks post-onset of symptoms or exposure. Recent studies suggest COVID-19 antibodies can be detected up to four months after exposure.

General COVID-19 Facts

  1. What is COVID-19?
    COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The World Health Organization (WHO) first learned of this new virus on 31 December 2019, following the report of a cluster of cases of 'viral pneumonia' in Wuhan, People's Republic of China.

    The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
    • Fever
    • Dry cough
    • Fatigue


    Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include:
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Nasal congestion
    • Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes)
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Muscle or joint pain
    • Different types of skin rash
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Chills or dizziness


    Symptoms of severe COVID‐19 disease include:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Loss of appetite
    • Confusion
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • High temperature (above 38 °C)


    Other less common symptoms are:
    • Irritability
    • Confusion
    • Reduced consciousness (sometimes associated with seizures)
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Sleep disorders
    • More severe and rare neurological complications such as strokes, brain inflammation, delirium, and nerve damage


    People of all ages who experience fever or cough associated with difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or loss of speech or movement, should seek medical care immediately.

    Complications leading to death may include respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis and septic shock, thromboembolism, and multiorgan failure, including injury to the heart, liver, or kidneys.

    In rare situations, children can develop a severe inflammatory syndrome a few weeks after infection.

    Source: World Health Organization (WHO), Oct 12, 2020