Coronavirus testing centres need ‘to be smart’ due to supply limitations, Tam says

Canada’s top public health officer says supply limitations are forcing COVID-19 testing centres “to be smart” about who they can assess for the respiratory illness while Health Canada rushes to approve commercial testing kits.

Dr. Theresa Tam acknowledged Monday that laboratory supplies, as well as personal protective gear, were “key things” officials would like to see more of, as various jurisdictions clarified their criteria for who is eligible for tests.

She also said surging demand may in part be addressed by commercial kits and the possible adoption of equipment designed to test other illnesses.

“Having said that, there’s quite a lot of innovation in thinking in this field — for example, certain viral swabs might be in shorter supply so laboratories are actually testing other swabs that are in plentiful supply and how do we use those instead?”

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