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Free / Cheap / Quick - Covid PCR / NAAT test in U.S. cities for Canadians returning to Canada

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 12th, 2022 3:23 pm
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Jan 12, 2017
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Scarberia
if u fly TO the usa next week , do u still need a pcr test and double vaxd? coming back to canada u just need pcr or naat? thx
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Aug 27, 2014
474 posts
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muscan wrote: We all know there is a loophole being exploited here. That's besides the point. But is it ethical for Canadians on leisure trips to have the U.S. government foot the bill for their vacation expenses? No.

How would you feel if Americans vacationing in Canada were doing the same and the Canadian taxpayer was paying for their Covid tests?
There's nothing unethical, it's the government subsidizing travel in their country.

Do you think Americans driving to Canada should pay for the roads they use here? If they drink from a public water fountain in a public park, should they pay for the water and for the park that's been paid for with our tax dollars? We don't mind it because those tourists spend a lot of dollars in our economy.
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Aug 27, 2014
474 posts
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sffpcgtx wrote: Anybody know of test places across the border from Ottawa crossings?
There are Walgreens in Ogdensburg, Canton, etc. that offer testing, pretty easy to find.
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Nov 6, 2010
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Montreal, QC
mikka2017 wrote: if u fly TO the usa next week , do u still need a pcr test and double vaxd? coming back to canada u just need pcr or naat? thx
Double vaxx and any Covid test is fine for US entry (including antigen the cheaper one).

Coming back to Canada PCR, NAAT and LAMP are all fine. Basically anything except antigen/rapid test

The timings are also slightly different. Canada requires the test be dated 72h from your entry into Canada (so 72h from your flight leg up to Canada if you’re connecting). The US is a bit more lenient allowing 3 days (so you can be anywhere within the 3 days relative to time of flight)
Sr. Member
Oct 21, 2006
889 posts
372 upvotes
City: Pittsburg, CA
Date: Anytime
Lab: https://covid.mccampbell.com/
Type of test: RT-PCR
Cost: $99 next day, $150 same day
Tips: the lab is about an hour drive north of the Bay Area. If you are in that area or if your PCR test result from a Bay Area test center (e.g. Walgreens) is tardy, you can get fast results at a reasonable price
Member
Nov 1, 2021
246 posts
158 upvotes
Instead of looking for cheap/free covid-19 tests (the free test is kind of a loophole, so it's unethical to exploit it), we should ask the Canadian gov't to drop the covid tests all together ASAP for fully vaccinated Canadians or Americans when they're crossing the US-Canada land border.

The US is dropping covid tests for fully vacc'd Canadians starting this coming Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, with the world's 2nd highest covid vax rate Canada should drop any covid test too reciprocally.

More readings on the US-Canada land border reopening topic from CTV News -
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavir ... -1.5645278
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2006
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muscan wrote: We all know there is a loophole being exploited here. That's besides the point. But is it ethical for Canadians on leisure trips to have the U.S. government foot the bill for their vacation expenses? No.

How would you feel if Americans vacationing in Canada were doing the same and the Canadian taxpayer was paying for their Covid tests?
Actually I'd feel GREAT and consider it a SMART move, because the amount of money and job/industry support American tourists bring far outweigh the cost of a "covid test".
[OP]
Member
Mar 4, 2003
440 posts
117 upvotes
Newmarket
Talamasca wrote: Curative is another option in Seattle. They have tons of appointments available. I'm going there in a few weeks as well and plan to use them as they have a location near my hotel. UW is my backup and I have an appointment booked with them already.
any more detials about Curative? link? cost? experiences?
Deal Guru
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Apr 26, 2004
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Mississauga
revlis wrote: any more detials about Curative? link? cost? experiences?
Curative. There is no cost. They have locations in multiple states. I haven't used them yet as I'm not going to Seattle until early next month.
[OP]
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Mar 4, 2003
440 posts
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Newmarket
Talamasca wrote: Curative. There is no cost. They have locations in multiple states. I haven't used them yet as I'm not going to Seattle until early next month.
Cool. This is the first I've heard of Curative. Wondering if anyone has first-hand experience using them for testing to return to Canada.
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Mar 30, 2004
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LuxErus wrote: There are Walgreens in Ogdensburg, Canton, etc. that offer testing, pretty easy to find.
Been 5-6 years since I was in Ogdensburg but there was also a local pharmacy chain in those parts if I remember correctly, Kinney's Drugs or something like that? They might do testing too.
Last edited by CorSter on Nov 8th, 2021 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Guru
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Apr 26, 2004
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Mississauga
revlis wrote: Cool. This is the first I've heard of Curative. Wondering if anyone has first-hand experience using them for testing to return to Canada.
This person on page 1 of this thread used them in California.
City: Los Angeles
Name of lab/organization: Curative
Type of tests available: PCR
Cost: Free
Approximate processing time (stated vs. actual): 24-72h. Hit and miss, one time it was 24h, the other it was 72h.
Tips/Tricks: It's a self-serve/walk up test so it's a good supplement if you're unsure the other ones will arrive. They have lots of openings compared to most sites I've found. They also have locations in San Francisco and Seattle.
Link: https://curative.com/
[OP]
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Mar 4, 2003
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Newmarket
Talamasca wrote: This person on page 1 of this thread used them in California.
Ah thanks. I just saw that. The turnaround time on this scares me though Astonished Face
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Nov 6, 2010
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revlis wrote: Ah thanks. I just saw that. The turnaround time on this scares me though Astonished Face
Yeah it's kind of hit & miss unfortunately since they send the samples out to a lab and I assume it might also depend on the overall business of the sites. I've had them come back in 24h and another pretty much at the 72h mark.
[OP]
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Mar 4, 2003
440 posts
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Newmarket
uber_shnitz wrote: Yeah it's kind of hit & miss unfortunately since they send the samples out to a lab and I assume it might also depend on the overall business of the sites. I've had them come back in 24h and another pretty much at the 72h mark.
Ya, too scary. Really has to be much less than 72hrs to allow for travel time, and if it's late, I'm royally f*****
Guess I have to hope for the best at Walgreens.
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Apr 26, 2004
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Mississauga
revlis wrote: Ya, too scary. Really has to be much less than 72hrs to allow for travel time, and if it's late, I'm royally f*****
Guess I have to hope for the best at Walgreens.
Note that that was Curative in California. Every site will vary. I asked some Seattleites who used Curative recently and 24-36 hours was the average turnaround time for them.
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Nov 6, 2010
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Yeah the 24h experience I had was in Seattle and the 72h one in LA lol
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Apr 24, 2006
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Walgreens in Michigan requires a driver's license or State ID number?
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Jan 12, 2005
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Mississauga
Tijuana wrote: Walgreens in Michigan requires a driver's license or State ID number?
I showed my Nexus card and they were ok with it.
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Feb 4, 2015
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Canada, Eh!!
Link for testing by state.

Note it is advisable to check website of state as they may have more free/cheap options.

https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/communi ... index.html
2022: BOC raised 2 times and MCAP raised its prime next day.
2017 to 2018: BOC raised rates 5 times and MCAP raised its prime next day each time.
2020: BOC dropped rates 3 times and MCAP waited to drop its prime to include all 3 drops.

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