The Ontario government says it is expanding access to PCR tests for COVID-19 and will expand eligibility for antiviral treatments as the province continues to grapple with the sixth wave of the pandemic.
in a Press release On Monday, the province’s Health Ministry said “effective immediately” more “high-risk” groups will be eligible to be screened and tested for antiviral treatments, such as Paxlovid.
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The province said “high-risk” groups include those over the age of 18 who are immunocompromised, those over the age of 70, those over the age of 60 with fewer than three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and those over the age of Age 18 with fewer than three vaccinations and at least one risk condition, such as a chronic medical condition.
Those who wish to be tested can do so by visiting a clinical testing center or by contacting their doctor.
According to the provincial government, those who are eligible for screening will now also be eligible for a PCR test at any testing center in Ontario.
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“Beginning April 12, Ontario will make it easier for eligible individuals to access antivirals by prescription by expanding dispensing locations to include participating pharmacies across the province,” the statement read.
The province said it will also provide a list of pharmacies that will dispense Paxlovid beginning Wednesday. The list can be found on the province’s website. website starting at 8 a.m.
According to the statement, antiviral treatment should be started within five days of symptoms “in most cases.”
The province said people in higher-risk groups who have symptoms of COVID-19 should “seek testing and care immediately, by contacting their health care provider or visiting a clinical assessment center.”
In most cases, antiviral treatment should be started within five days of symptoms. People in higher risk groups who have symptoms of COVID-19 should seek testing and care immediately by contacting their health care provider or visiting a clinical assessment center.
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Speaking at a news conference Monday, Ontario’s top physician, Kieran Moore, said members of the public should consult with their health care provider to determine if antiviral treatments are right for them.
“Even if you don’t have symptoms, talk to your primary care provider ahead of time to see if treatment is right for you if you do get sick; have a plan,” she said.
According to Moore, health care providers can also determine whether antiviral treatment is appropriate for patients based on “individual circumstances, even if they don’t fall into one of the high-risk groups.”
The news comes as the province reported that a total of 1,090 are now in hospital with COVID-19, with 184 in intensive care.
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