Health Canada approves first COVID-19 rapid test
Health Canada announced Wednesday they have green-lit a new rapid test for COVID-19 by U.S. company Abbott Diagnostics. The test can reportedly produce results in under 15 minutes, and does not require a specimen to be sent to a lab for analysis. The news comes as many communities across Canada are seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Similar to other forms of COVID testing, a health care worker must perform Abbott's ID Now test by collecting a nasal swab from a patient and inserting it into the portable analyzer. The ID Now is not the only test approved for use in Canada that can be analyzed outside a lab, but it is the only one so far to produce results so quickly. The Government of Canada has negotiated a deal to procure 8 million tests, which are set to arrive in the coming weeks. It's likely they will be deployed first to high-risk locations such as long-term care facilities and schools, as well as rural communities that have limited access to testing.