These new tests will significantly improve the chances of detecting the virus
Rodrigo Diaz M.
The Ontario government has rolled out new rapid tests against COVID-19 to provide faster results in high transmission regions and in rural and remote areas.
As an additional tool to help keep essential workers safe, the rapid tests will also be used to screen staff in long-term care homes and selected workplaces.
These new tests will provide Ontarions with greater access to virus detection options and help quickly identify and manage outbreaks to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“These new rapid tests represent a game changer in the fight against COVID-19,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “This new technology can provide results in hours, even minutes, instead of days.”
“We will be 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 used in hospitals and testing centers in rural and remote communities, as well as for human testing as part of early outbreak investigations in hotspot regions where there are high concentrations of COVID-19 cases.
Two hospitals are already using ID NOW, and another 20 hospitals are preparing to launch them. Hospitals will be able to test people, such as staff and patients, who are symptomatic or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.
The province has also received 1.2 million rapid Panbio antigen tests that will support a screening program for long-term care homes and other workplaces.
To date, Panbio trials have been deployed to six long-term care operators for possible deployment in more than 30 long-term care homes, 27 nursing homes, eight hospitals, and 11 industry partners, including Ontario. Power Generation, Air Canada and Magna, with expansion plans throughout the province. Ontario expects to receive up to 1.5 million more Panbio tests by the end of December.
In the coming weeks, some long-term care homes will use Abbott Panbio rapid antigen tests to help inform future industry-wide deployment.
Both the ID NOW and Panbio tests are new, will be carefully evaluated, and used in accordance with the guidance of the Canadian Ministry of Health.