100,000 rapid COVID-19 tests have arrived in Canada

The federal government says the tests, which do not need to be sent to a lab for processing, are being distributed to provinces as needed, and many more are on the way
By: Alison Larabie Chase
November 01, 2020
Photo: Philippe Lopez /AFP via Getty Images

Slow test results have been a major issue for Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. The one approved test, known as the PCR test, must be sent to a lab for processing, which can take days. Meanwhile, the infected person must wait for their results, and their potential contacts have not yet been asked to self-isolate. Rapid tests such as the ID Now from Abbott Diagnostics in the United States offer results in less than 15 minutes with no lab required. The federal government has ordered millions of the tests and the first batch of 100,000 arrived in Canada in mid-October.

Another 2.4 million of the tests are due to arrive before year’s end, and then millions more next year. The government ordered two types of test from Abbott: 7.9 million of the ID Now test (which has already begun to ship) and 20 million of the Panbio antigen test (which should begin arriving shortly). Government health officials say the tests will be distributed to provinces and territories according to population and current need for testing.

The tests are intended to act as a complement to PCR testing and will be used by health care professionals to improve testing capacity and reduce wait times significantly across the country, hopefully helping to control the spread of COVID-19 more effectively.

Source: Ottawa Citizen



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