SLOW TURNAROUND IN COVID-19 TEST RESULTS PUTS NURSING HOME RESIDENTS AT GREATER RISK

Oct 20, 2020

By Jane Brown

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Delays in Canada’s COVID-19 testing programs are preventing nursing home staff from quickly identifying infected residents and staff.

The news comes just as a growing number of facilities are declaring outbreaks.
The problem is most acute in Quebec and here in Ontario, where the number of long term care homes with outbreaks has quadrupled to 86 over the past month when 58 residents have died after contracting the virus.
Health experts say fast turnaround of test results is crucial to preventing and managing outbreaks in long term care homes and other congregate settings where the elderly are most vulnerable to the virus.
In Ontario, labs are turning around an average of 46.1 percent of tests within two days, which is well short of their goal of 80 percent of tests within that time frame.
 

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