Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Tuesday – CBC

AstraZeneca seeks authorization of drug to prevent COVID-19

Oct 05, 2021

Ontario public health units will be able to access rapid antigen test kits from the province to help prevent outbreaks at schools or child-care centres, the province’s chief medical officer of health said Tuesday.

The province foresees rapid antigen screening being used only for unvaccinated asymptomatic students and children who are not high-risk contacts. Symptomatic or high-risk contacts should continue to access lab-based PCR testing at assessment centres, said Dr. Kieran Moore.

“This is an extra tool in our tool chest to keep schools open,” said Moore, who added that public health units will have to assess their local case ratios to determine whether the tests should be utilized.

Public health experts say rapid tests can help break potential chains of transmission as they fare well at detecting persons with high viral loads, while reducing the strain on labs that perform PCR tests. Parents say the tests can help prevent their own work disruptions, as they are not pulling out their asymptomatic and COVID-negative children out of class for several days of remote learning in the face of one or two positive cases at their schools.

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