COVID-19 Information for Patients

If you are a pharmacy professional, please visit the College’s “COVID-19: Information for Pharmacy Professionals” page.

If You Have Symptoms

For information on symptoms, how to protect yourself, how to self-isolate, what to do if you have symptoms and how to care for those who are ill, please visit the Ministry of Health’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) page. Additional resources are available from Public Health Ontario, Government of Canada, and the World Health Organization.

The Ministry of Health has created a self-assessment tool to determine if you need to seek further care. Please review the self-assessment BEFORE visiting a pharmacy.

If you are unable to attend an appointment with your prescriber, or are self-isolating, and require a refill of your medication, please contact your pharmacy to speak with your pharmacist as they may be able to assist with renewing your medication to ensure the continuity of your care.

If You Plan on Visiting Your Pharmacy 

COVID-19 Testing at the Pharmacy

Certain Ontario pharmacies have elected to offer COVID-19 tests, by appointment only, for eligible asymptomatic patients. Locate information about eligibility and testing centres, including pharmacies, on the Ministry of Health website.

If you intend to go to a pharmacy for COVID-19 testing, you should be aware of the following:

  • Not all pharmacies offer this service
  • Testing is by appointment only, not on a walk-in basis
  • Do not attend a pharmacy for COVID-19 testing if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. Instead, if you have any COVID -19 symptoms, visit an assessment centre near you
    • At present, the Ministry of Health states that you can get tested at an assessment center or select pharmacies only if you do NOT have symptoms and meet the criteria outlined on the Ministry of Health website.
  • All public health measures must be followed when attending your testing appointment, including wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, and practicing hand hygiene


Screening of Patients at the Pharmacy

Pharmacies will be instituting screening of patients for COVID-19 using the latest case definition. This includes active screening (such as over the phone or at the counter) and passive screening (such as posting signage).

If you screen positive over the phone with pharmacy, and/or are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing), you will be advised to not enter the pharmacy.

If you screen positive over the phone, pharmacy professionals are required to direct you to call your public health unit or Telehealth: 1-866-797-0000. If you are already in the pharmacy and screen positive, you will be separated from other patients and staff, while the pharmacy professional works with you to notify the public health unit.


Providing Notice to Your Pharmacy When Possible of Your Medication Needs

We encourage you to provide as much notice as possible to your pharmacy regarding your medication needs, including notifying pharmacies in advance of your need for a medication refill, and to remain patient as it may take a longer time than normal to process your prescription and receive your medication.

As well, please be advised that as of June 15, 2020, the Ministry of Health lifted the recommended 30-day limit for dispensing Ontario Drug Benefit program medications. Program recipients can return to filling up to 100-day supply at a time from their pharmacy, when appropriate. For more information, please view the Government of Ontario’s news release “Ontario Lifting 30-Day Supply Limit on Prescriptions.”

 Helpful Resources

 

19 to Zero Vaccination: 19 To Zero is a dedicated coalition of academics, public health experts, behavioural economists, and creative professionals working to understand, engage with, and ultimately shift public perceptions around COVID-19 behaviours and vaccination.