COVID-19 rapid tests deployed to some Ontario hospitals, long-term care homes

Grant Boone
November 25, 2020

The premier has repeatedly called the rapid tests "game changers" in the fight against COVID-19.

Today Premier Doug Ford said that new rapid tests are rolling out across the province and that these tests can deliver results in minutes, rather than days. We've already deployed these tests in 26 long-term care homes and 27 retirement homes. "We will also use these tests to conduct early investigations into outbreaks in hotspot regions", Ford said.

Miriam Klassen says the rapid tests are not being used in this region (HPPH) yet, but she is carefully watching the province's progress.

Health Minister Christine Elliott's office clarified that due to a "technical" issue, the previous day's so-called daily record of 1,589 cases was an overestimate.

The tests are not only being used in Southwestern Ontario but also in Simcoe Muskoka and Eastern Ontario.

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In addition, the province has received 1.2-million Panbio rapid antigen tests, which will be used to support a screening program for long-term care homes and some other workplaces.

There are 1,082 more resolved cases and almost 27,100 tests completed since the last daily report.

Currently, in long-term care facilities, which have been the hardest hit during the pandemic, 101 have a COVID-19 outbreak. Molecular testing detects genetic material of COVID-19 to diagnose people with symptoms. "Considering the population in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, HPEPH will exceed this rate if 17 new cases of COVID-19 are identified locally over a seven-day period", Oglaza said late last week.

It is still critically important for all Ontarians to follow public health measures to stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19-wear a mask when required, stay two metres apart from people outside of your household, wash your hands frequently, stay home if you are not feeling well, and download the COVID Alert mobile app.

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