Some pharmacies to offer COVID-19 testing starting Friday

Saturday, 26 Sep, 2020

Ontario reported 335 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, along with three new deaths related to the virus. Many centres in southern Ontario have had long lineups that are forcing people to wait hours.

Pharmacies will be allowed to test most people with no symptoms of COVID-19, who will be pre-screened on arrival, then tested at no charge. Employees or residents of long-term care homes experiencing an outbreak should also be tested. Saliva testing will start in the upcoming weeks at the Women's College, Mount Sinai and University Health Network―Toronto Western Hospital assessment centres.

Included among today's cases are 64 people aged 19 and under, 195 people aged 20 to 39 years old, 91 people between 40 and 59 years old, 41 people between 60 and 79 years old, and 18 people aged 80 and over. "We've ordered 5.1 million doses for the entire province and we're working to order even more".

The Ontario government is expanding access to COVID-19 testing by offering it at up to 60 pharmacies within the province starting this Friday. Testing will be available as of Friday.

Cases have been routinely spiking over 400 cases per day in Ontario - 1,000 across Canada - for the past two weeks in a pandemic caseload rise that signals the second wave has already arrived, said Prime Minister Trudeau in his national address Wednesday.

The strategy will also address ways to reduce health service backlogs, prepare for case surges and recruit and train health-care workers, details of which will be announced next week, Ford said.

"The fact is that Health Canada has been sitting on their hands", says Ford, "It's very simple".

All people wishing to get a test must not have any COVID-19 symptoms and will be fully screened before given the free test.

"In the words of the Ottawa Catholic District School Board chair, they have the smallest classroom sizes in the history of that board this year because of government funding... well north of 2,600 teachers (across Ontario) are being hired because of the funding we've provided", Lecce said.