Arrivals Testing

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COVID-19 testing in Alberta and Atlantic Regions; including on-site testing at Calgary International Airport

On November 30, the Government of Canada announced that all travellers, arriving by air from departure points other than the United States, could be subject to on arrival (Day 1) testing.

Vaccinated travellers do not need to quarantine while they wait for a negative result.

Unvaccinated travellers, with right of entry to Canada, will continue to be tested on arrival (Day 1 and Day 8) and must quarantine for a full 14 days, regardless of the result of their Day 1 test. If they do not have a suitable place of quarantine, they may be required to go to a Designated Quarantine Facility (DQF). If they test positive on Day 8, they will need to isolate for an additional 10 days.

For the latest information about the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 testing for travellers please visit https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid.

To register for on-arrivals testing, click here.

How to Participate

Step 1: Complete ArriveCAN submission

Use ArriveCAN to submit a quarantine plan and contact info before departing for Canada, as required by the Government of Canada. This is a requirement for entry into Canada as of November 21, 2020. This is not related to registration for the Arrivals Testing Pilot Program.

Step 2: Complete pre-departure testing requirement

This is a requirement for entry into Canada as of 12:01 a.m. on January 7, 2021. This is not related to registration for the Arrivals Testing Pilot Program.

Step 3: Create an account with Switch Health

Register with Switch Health for an ASMO account. Register here: portal.switchhealth.ca

Step 4: Proceed to testing areas designated at each airport upon landing

After arriving and completing the customs process, pick up your luggage and follow directional signage to the designated testing areas.

Travellers who have not pre-registered prior to their arrival in Canada will have the opportunity to do so directly at our testing sites. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to expedite your testing experience.

At the testing areas, a Switch Health healthcare professional will administer the test. The healthcare professional will link your test sample to your Switch Health profile. After completing your test, you must immediately proceed to your quarantine location (if applicable).

Switch Health will deliver your test sample to its lab for processing. Test results are typically available within 24-48 hours, but could take up to 72 hours during periods of high volumes. When your results are available, you will get a notification through your preferred communication method (i.e. text or email) to go to the Switch Health patient portal, ASMO, to view your results.

In the event you test positive for COVID-19, you will be directed to the local Public Health unit for COVID-19 case management and a Switch Health healthcare professional will call to provide support and guidance.

Visit the Government of Canada’s website for public health guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to sign up

Do I need to register?

Yes, you do need to register. Advance registration is strongly encouraged as it avoids the general registration queue at the airport and can be done online or on your personal mobile device. Passengers who do not register in advance can also register when they arrive on site.

What is Switch Health’s patient portal, ASMO?

ASMO is Switch Health’s proprietary results reporting and telehealth platform. ASMO is an all-in-one, PHIPA-compliant platform that securely stores your results.

How do I receive my results?

Prior to your appointment, please sign up at https://portal.switchhealth.ca and create an account. You will receive your results through Switch Health’s patient portal.

During your appointment the telehealth professional will assign a serial number to your specimen. The laboratory will use this serial number to assign a result. You will be alerted via text message or e-mail when your result is ready to review on the portal.

You will be able to view, download and print your result via ASMO.

For questions or concerns, please call 1 (888) 966-6531 to connect with us.

Public health will follow up on all positive tests.

When will I receive my results?

You will receive a text message or email to the provided account notifying you that your result is ready to review.

How do I sign up to ASMO?

To sign up to ASMO, please go to https://portal.switchhealth.ca and follow the steps provided. Signing up should take no longer than one minute. With two-factor authentication, ASMO requires email or a mobile phone number to provide security and privacy for patients.

Please note, if choosing SMS for updates, mobile phone must be Canadian and able to receive SMS text messages.

I forgot my password to ASMO, how can I change it?

ASMO is intuitive and user friendly. To change your password, simple click “change my password” and follow the steps provided.

  1. Click 'account' on the left-hand side of screen
  2. Click 'change password' on upper right side of screen
  3. Enter in new password, re-enter new password. Please note that a password must be a minimum of 8 character including 3 of lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and special characters.
  4. Click ‘save’
  5. For questions or concerns, please call 1 (888) 966-6531 to connect with us.

The basics

Do I need to take part in this program?

Non-exempt arriving passengers are required by the Government of Canada to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival as well as on Day-8 of their 14-day quarantine. For a complete list of traveller exemptions and regulations, please click here.

Does registering for arrivals testing replace the need to complete a pre-departure test before travelling to Canada?

No. Travellers coming to Canada must follow the Government of Canada requirement to take a COVID-19 test in your last point of departure to Canada, within 3 days prior to your departure date and show a negative test result before boarding your plane.

Does registering for arrivals testing replace the need to complete an ArriveCAN submission before entering Canada?

No, all travellers must still complete an ArriveCAN submission, as required by the Government of Canada. As of November 21, 2020, international travellers are required to use the ArriveCAN app to submit a quarantine plan and contact info before departing for Canada.

Does a negative test result from Switch Health allow me to leave quarantine early?

If you are fully vaccinated and have not travelled from a country with temporary Omicron restrictions, you may be permitted to leave quarantine after receiving a negative result. If you are not fully vaccinated or have travelled from a country with temporary Omicron restrictions, you may have to remain in quarantine for a full 14 days and complete additional testing requirements. Be sure to follow the guidance of federal officials at all times.

Please refer to federal guidelines regarding testing and quarantine. For the latest information from the Government of Canada, please visit visit https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid

The passenger experience

What is the process to be tested and what rules do I need to follow?

Step 1: Enroll in the program

  • Register to participate as a volunteer in the program
  • Registration can be done in advance of arrival or upon arrival

REMINDER: As of November 21, 2020, international travellers are also required to use the ArriveCAN app to submit a quarantine plan and contact info before departing for Canada. This is not related to registration for the arrivals testing program.

REMINDER: As of January 7, 2021, international travellers are also required to complete a COVID-19 test within 3 days prior to departure for Canada and show proof of negative test results before boarding the plane.

Step 2: Complete your test at the airport

  • After exiting the customs hall and gathering your luggage, proceed to the testing area in your Terminal.
  • A Switch Health healthcare professional will perform a nasal swab and complete your COVID-19 test on-site.
  • The healthcare professional will register your test sample and link it to your Switch Health profile
  • Switch Health will deliver your test sample to its lab for processing
  • After completing your test, you must immediately proceed to your quarantine location if you are not exempt from quarantine requirements.

Step 3: Quarantine and wait for your test results

  • Immediately after completing the test at the airport, you must begin your quarantine period if you are not exempt from quarantine requirements.
  • You will receive a notification via text message and email from Switch Health when your test results are ready.

Visit the Government of Canada’s website for public health guidelines.

Where are your testing sites located?

We have designated testing areas in each airport that we are present in. Follow the directional signage to the testing area.

Calgary International Airport

  • Arrivals Level - Between doors 16 and 17 of International Arrivals.
How much do I have to pay to participate?

There is no charge to travellers. The cost is covered by the Government of Canada.

Where do I get my results?

Switch Health will notify you with a text message or email (chosen at the time of testing) once your results are ready to review. Once notified, log on to Switch Health’s patient portal to view your result. You will be able to view, download and print your result via ASMO. If you have questions or concerns, please call 1 (888) 966-6531 to connect with us

How long does it take to get results?

You will get a notification from Switch Health through your pre-selected preferred mode of communication that you chose during the registration process (i.e. text, email). Results are generally available within 24-48 hours, but could take up to 72 hours during periods of high volume.

What happens if my test result is positive for COVID-19?

If your test result is positive, Switch Health will direct the results to the local Public Health unit for contact tracing and follow up. A Switch Health healthcare professional will call to provide support and guidance.

Visit the Government of Canada’s website for public health guidelines.

The test/the science

What kind of COVID-19 test does Switch Health perform?

Switch Health tests for COVID-19 using nasal swabs or nasopharyngeal swabs on a standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing machine. Both tests and equipment are authorized by Health Canada. On arrival COVID-19 testing in Calgary International Airport will be performed by a healthcare professional, trained in specimen collection and handling, and infection prevention.

What PCR test does Switch Health’s partner laboratory run?

Switch Health’s partner laboratory runs Seegene Allplex 2019-nCoV Assay, a Health Canada approved COVID-19 PCR test kit.

Has government approved this program?

Yes. This program is being implemented by the Government of Canada.

What is a nasal swab?

A nasal swab goes 1.3-1.5cm into the nasal cavity, the healthcare professional swirls the swab for 15 seconds and then performs the same procedure on the second nasal cavity. This is a less invasive swab and is preferred by many. We request all patients blow their nose immediately prior to the bilateral anterior swab.

Are results for self-collection as accurate as results for specimens collected by a registered healthcare professional?

A nasopharyngeal swab performed by a healthcare professional will be slightly more sensitive than a nasal swab performed individually. We request all patients blow their nose prior to their nasal swab as this increases the accuracy of the result.

Contact

For any other questions related to testing, please email Switch Health at support@switchhealth.ca.