N.B. to end COVID-19 PCR testing for most people April 1, memo reveals – CBC

Tests still available for those whom the outcome ‘will directly influence treatment or care’ with a referral

Mar 24, 2023

COVID-19 PCR testing for most New Brunswickers will end, effective April 1, CBC has learned.

In a memo to all medical practitioners, Dr. Yves Léger, deputy chief medical officer of health, cites the “very low demand for testing and the need to eventually transition back to routine testing practices.”

People will no longer be able to self-schedule an appointment for a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test at an assessment centre, according to the memo, dated March 20.

“Patients with COVID-19 compatible symptoms where the outcome of PCR testing will directly influence treatment or care,” will still be able to get a lab-based PCR test, Léger advised.

But they will require a referral from a health-care provider, he said.

The move comes as New Brunswick continues to add several deaths to its pandemic death toll each week, as dozens of people continue to be hospitalized for or with the virus, and as the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, deemed immune evasive and “the most transmissible” yet, has become the dominant strain in the province.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/covid-19-pcr-testing-new-brunswick-end-april-referral-health-care-provider-yves-leger-1.6779406

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