COVID-19 Health System Response Materials

Below is information shared with the Ontario health care system and generated by the COVID-19 health system response effort.

On this page:

  1. Critical Care
  2. Health Services during COVID-19 Waves
  3. Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes
  4. Personal Protective Equipment
  5. Provincial Antigen Screening Program
  6. Diagnostic (PCR) Testing
  7. Updates
  8. Virtual Care

For news on the current status of COVID-19 in Ontario and health care guidelines, visit the Government of Ontario, the Public Health Ontario and the Government of Canada websites.



Critical Care

Resources developed by the critical care command table to support decision-making during COVID-19.



Health Services During COVID-19 Waves

The first wave of COVID-19 in Ontario brought delays to health care delivery. The following recommendations outline how health care providers can continue to provide care for patients & clients through future waves.

Hospitals scheduling surgeries and procedures

Outpatient, primary care, and home and community care settings

Cancer care

Chronic kidney disease

Palliative care



Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes

Resources for homes adjusting care delivery and processes during COVID-19.



Personal Protective Equipment

Recommendations based on the best available evidence on how and when to use personal protective equipment in health care settings.



Provincial Antigen Screening Program

Provincial Antigen Screening Program

Important Updates:

  • Three antigen test types will now be deployed interchangeably based on supply: Abbott Panbio, BTNX & BD Veritor.
  • Health Canada and the Ministry of Health have approved the use of BD Veritor rapid antigen test as a visually-read device that can now be used without an analyzer machine
  • There has been an expiry extension for Abbott Panbio and BD Veritor rapid antigen tests. Please see shelf-life extension details (2021.11.15)

Overview of Antigen Screening

How to set-up an antigen screening program on-site and/or at home

Best practises for rapid antigen screening

Describes best practices for antigen screening, including facilities, equipment, and occupational health and safety measures.

Swabbing/Specimen Collection and Screening Resources

Reviews the types of swabs used in antigen testing, acceptable specimen collection methods and demonstrates how to collect specimens.

Resources by Test Type


BD Veritor

BTNX Rapid Response

Roche Biosensor (coming soon)


Documenting and Reporting Results



Diagnostic (PCR) Testing

Recommendations to support the health system aligning with Ontario’s COVID-19 testing guidelines.

Updates on Provincial Testing, Assessment Centres and Lab Network

COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Testing

Recommendations for COVID-19 Assessment Centres

Resources to support expansion of lab-based PCR testing in pharmacies



Health System Response Table Updates

Updates on activities and progress as the health system responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Virtual Care

Get access to online and telephone services that have been expanded during the pandemic.


Last Updated: November 29, 2021