Hospitals and COVID-19 assessment centres in Eastern Ontario are now using rapid tests to detect the virus.

The 98,000 rapid tests are also being used in other rural and remote areas of the province where testing result turnaround times take longer.  Premier Doug Ford says test results from ID NOW can be found out in minutes, instead of the days that some results are taking. The rapid tests are 93-percent accurate.

In his media briefing today, Ford said they being deployed as quickly as possible, “These new rapid tests are game-changers in the fight against COVID-19. This new technology can provide test results in hours, even minutes, instead of days. We’re deploying them as quickly as possible to protect patients, long-term care residents, and the frontline heroes who care for them. These new tools will ensure that Ontario remains the leader in testing in Canada to help stop the spread of this deadly virus.”

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the tests will improve access in underserved communities, “Our government strongly advocated for the approval of these rapid tests to help provide timely access to testing for Ontarians who need it the most. These tests are helping to improve access to testing in our most underserved communities and allow us to better detect and contain any outbreaks. We are continuously working to expand our testing capacity and evaluate new and emerging technologies to provide safe testing options for a greater number of people.”

The tests are not only being used in Eastern Ontario but also in Simcoe Muskoka and Southwestern Ontario.