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At-home COVID-19 test authorized by Health Canada

Switch Health is hoping to have kits available as early as January or February 2021, depending on geography
switch health test kit
Photo of COVID-19 At-Home Collection Kit by Switch Health Solutions Inc.

Picture this: you're in need of a COVID-19 test to go back to work or school, but the usual means of getting a test are either not available or simply not convenient for your schedule.

Now, a Toronto-based healthcare company wants to change that by bringing the test to you.

Health Canada has given authorization to Switch Health, and its at-home testing kit that officials are hoping to roll out in the new year.

"We still need individual provincial approval to be able to actually work through this," said Olga Jilani, the CFO and Director of Switch Health.

She said the company is at advanced stages with some provinces, and pending approval, is aiming for January or February to make them available.

The kits contain a PCR swab test, considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing at the moment.

But Jilani noted as other testing methods come online and get approved, Switch Health is open to making changes.

Those getting a kit will be able to sit at home, log into a secure server and video chat with a nurse, who will walk you through all the steps.

Jilani said the most important step comes when putting the kit together and shipping it off.

"There are no leaks, there's no contamination (and) that it complies with all Category B requirements for shipment of potentially biohazardous material," she said, "It is then picked up and processed at a central lab."

She added suggestions have come in to make these kits available in places like airports and schools.

"We want to work with the provinces to see where they would like to deploy this in," Jilani said.

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