Testing for COVID-19: Importance of testing and contact tracing

Always follow the instructions contained in your test kit or provided by your local health authority. The instructions are written specifically for that particular type of kit. If you take a sample in a different way, your test result may be invalid.

Get more information on our Authorized COVID-19 testing devices page.

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Why testing is important

Testing is the only way we can confirm if you have COVID-19. Knowing you're infected is important to protect your family and the people you encounter.

Contact your local health authority for advice about testing if you:

Testing helps reduce the spread of the virus. When someone tests positive for COVID-19, they can be isolated at home or, if needed, in a hospital.

Testing tells us:

Testing is a key tool to:

Contact tracing

If you test positive for COVID-19, a public health official may ask you questions to collect important information about:

This is called contact tracing. It's a key public health measure to slow down or stop the spread of the virus.

By tracking down your contacts, public health officials can warn people that they may have been exposed to the virus. This helps your contacts take measures to self-isolate and monitor themselves for symptoms to prevent further spread.


The COVID Alert app was one of the public health tools available to help limit the spread of COVID-19. It helped to let people know of possible exposures before any symptoms appear.

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