Schools Considered ‘High-Risk’ In Ontario Will Be Getting Rapid Covid-19 Tests Starting Next Week To Crack Down On Rising Cases In The Community

Specific communities have shown higher rates of COVID-19 infections, and schools in such neighbourhoods are more prone to a COVID-19 breakout.

After reviewing data regarding unvaccinated asymptomatic students, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, has decided it would be wise to send out rapid antigen tests to schools in such communities.

The rapid antigen tests will be sent to the schools starting next week that are seen as “high-risk” places. The schools will be considered high risk depending on the number of cases detected, outbreaks and/or prevalence of the virus in the local communities.

This policy attempts to catch outbreaks and transmission before they happen and those that go undetected during contact tracing.

Initially, Dr. Moore was hesitant to pass the policy but reconsidered his decision after reviewing data from the U.S. and the U.K., which suggested that rapid testing played a valuable role in preventing outbreaks.

READ MORE: A Child Under 10 In Ontario Died Of COVID-19 But The Region’s Medical Officer Of Health Is Assuring The Public It’s Still Very ‘Rare’

“Over the last several weeks, we’ve learned that there is a place for this type of testing, especially in the face of Delta. We’ve been reviewing the literature around the globe, in particular from the U.K., and some areas of the United States that have implemented testing, but they have much higher rates and risk than ours, and we do see it as a tool that can be used in particular to keep schools open,” Dr. Moore said.

This decision comes after multiple outbreaks have been reported at schools across Ontario due to children 12 and under being ineligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

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