Many people in Canada depend on results from take-home quick antigen tests if they can get their hands on them, as more provinces reduce PCR testing for COVID-19 and the Omicron variant continues to rise.
Rapid tests, on the other hand, go unreported in many parts of the country and are not included in official provincial case numbers. Some medical professionals are advising that those results be documented in order to track the pandemic’s growth.
Sally Otto, an evolutionary scientist at UBC and a member of B.C.’s COVID-19 Modelling Team, stated, “We need it for a number of things.” No province keeps track of positive quick test results, and accessibility to other types of testing is becoming more challenging in various parts of the country.
On Thursday, for example, Ontario revised its testing guidelines to eliminate the requirement for PCR tests for persons who obtain positive fast antigen test results. As of Friday, PCR testing is only available to high-risk patients who are symptomatic, vulnerable populations, and workers in high-risk environments.
“A piecemeal approach will not be as effective in terms of determining how many people are sick right now, what the expected burden of hospitalisation will be, and when we will be done.”
“Because of their robust data analysis system, the United Kingdom has provided us with the best data on the COVID epidemic. They have world-class data on cases linked to hospitalisation and vaccination, “Otto said.
Source: CBC News