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Important Changes to COVID-19 Testing at Joseph Brant Hospital’s Assessment Centre and Drive-Thru Clinic

Joseph Brant Hospital photo.

*Please see below a media statement issued by Joseph Brant Hospital (PDF version: Joseph Brant Hospital STATEMENT – New COVID-19 Testing Criteria).

Joseph Brant Hospital photo.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2020 — BURLINGTON, Ont. — At Joseph Brant Hospital, we are committed to providing safe, quality care to our patients and our community and supporting them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On September 24, the Ministry of Health introduced new COVID-19 testing criteria to take a more targeted approach and prioritize those individuals who are experiencing symptoms and those who are at greatest risk of contracting COVID-19, rather than testing those who have no symptoms and no identified exposure risks.

Ontario hospitals are required to fulfill their role as COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centres as directed by the province. JBH and other Halton-area hospitals, Ontario Health and Halton Region Public Health continue to work together to make sure we are focused on those most at risk for COVID-19.

As a result, we are asking the public to review the most up-to-date provincial criteria prior to booking an appointment at our Assessment Centre and Drive-Thru Clinic.

Prior to these provincial changes, JBH was facing unprecedented demand for testing which has resulted in longer-than-expected wait times. We continue to channel resources to reduce these wait times and schedule appointments, and we appreciate the public’s help and patience as we work to eliminate the backlog while abiding by the new testing criteria.

Our top priority is to ensure our community’s needs are met and we are doing everything we can and exploring every opportunity to ensure that these high-risk groups, as determined by the province, receive a test as quickly as possible.

Before booking an appointment, please review the most up-to-date provincial criteria to determine if you are eligible to be tested. As of Sept. 29, testing is only recommended for those who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • you are showing COVID-19 symptoms
  • your public health unit or the COVID Alert app notifies you that you have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus
  • you live or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified by your local public health unit
  • you live or work in an at-risk setting, such as a long-term care home, homeless shelter or other congregate setting
  • you will be visiting a long-term care home
  • you are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative as determined by the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Long-Term Care, similar to the earlier campaign to target long-term care home residents

Those who meet the provincial criteria can book an appointment online at or by phone by calling 905-632-3737 ext. 6550. To receive a faster booking time, we encourage you to book appointments online. Due to high demand, you may experience longer wait times to receive your appointment confirmation by phone. We apologize for any delays and appreciate your patience.

If someone is very ill and in need of immediate care, they should go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 911.

The province has introduced a plan to provide testing through pharmacies which targets individuals with no symptoms of COVID-19 and who meet specific criteria. Unfortunately, there are no participating pharmacies in Halton region at this time. However, the government has said that additional locations will be rolled out across Ontario in the coming days.

We know this is a challenging time for everyone as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. It’s important that we all work together to reduce the impact of the second wave. We thank you for your continued support and patience.

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages (and subscribe) and, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to


*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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Media Specialist: John Bkila