COVID-19 rapid tests coming to Simcoe Muskoka
BARRIE, ONT. -- The Ontario government announced Tuesday it started giving out COVID-19 rapid tests to some hospitals and seniors' homes.
According to Premier Doug Ford, the "game-changers" can produce results in minutes.
"We're deploying them as quickly as possible to protect patients, long-term care residents, and the frontline heroes who care for them," Ford said.
The province deployed the ID Now rapid tests to areas with a significant concentration of COVID-19 cases, including Simcoe Muskoka.
The region currently has outbreaks in four seniors' homes, Simcoe Manor, Sunset Manor, Allandale Station Retirement Residence, and Holland Gardens Retirement Residence.
Fifty-two people across Simcoe Muskoka have died after testing positive for the virus, most of whom were seniors in long-term care homes.
"Unfortunately, residents of long-term care and retirement homes have been the hardest hit by COVID-19, with one-third of cases succumbing to the illness," states the Simcoe Muskoka health unit's website.
The province also received 1.2 million Panbio rapid antigen tests from the federal government, with more on the way.
"These rapid tests can help long-term care homes get results immediately, allowing them to act faster to prevent COVID-19 from entering the home," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care.