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Rapid testing to support COVID-19 response

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Shady Salah – Media in Toronto

The Ontario government has deployed new COVID-19 rapid tests to provide faster results in regions of high transmission and rural and remote areas.

As an additional tool to help keep essential workers safe, rapid tests will also be used to screen staff in long-term care homes and select workplaces. These new tests will provide Ontarians with more access to innovative testing options and will help to quickly identify and manage outbreaks to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Details were released on Tuesday by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “These new rapid tests are gamechangers in the fight against COVID-19” said Premier Ford. ” This new technology can provide test results in hours, even minutes, instead of days. We’re deploying them as quickly as possible to protect patients, long-term care residents, and the frontline heroes who care for them. These new tools will ensure that Ontario remains the leader in testing in Canada to help stop the spread of this deadly virus.”

Ontario has received approximately 98,000 ID NOW tests that are initially being used in hospitals and assessment centres in rural and remote communities, as well as to test people as part of early outbreak investigations in hotspot regions where there are high concentrations of COVID-19 cases. Two hospitals are using ID NOW, with 20 additional hospitals preparing to launch rapid testing. Hospitals will be able to test people, such as staff and patients, who are either symptomatic or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

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