Jan 06, 2022

By Christine Ross

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Ontario residents with COVID-19 symptoms can leave isolation sooner than the required five days if two rapid antigen tests come back negative.

But getting your hands on one will be a challenge if you’re not on the priority list that includes long term care, hospitals, shelters, some education settings and workplaces with vaccine-or-test mandates.

“Testing is a luxury, monitoring your symptoms is what every Ontarian should be doing, if you’ve got a fever, and/or cough and/or the minor symptoms of nasal congestion, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, that alone has a high probability of being COVID at present,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore.

But he later clarified his comment by saying he hopes nobody found his ‘luxury’ comment to be trite. “We are trying to provide increased access and availability of testing and we’ll try given the global supply chain to be able to provide RAT testing.”

Ottawa plans to send more than 54 million to Ontario this month but only 150,000 have arrived.

Meantime, a change in isolation policy means those with COVID symptoms can return to regular activities sooner than the required five days if two rapid antigen tests come back negative.

Dr. Moore says while more are being admitted to ICU with COVID — 319 today, up 31 from yesterday — there is good news in that length of stay has dropped to 6 days from 13 last month.

He opened his remarks by saying “this will be a tough January, a better February and spring will bring relief.”

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