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Results 'promising' as over 50 local LTC staff take part in rapid testing pilot

The test gives COVID results in 15 minutes
rapid test
Abbott Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test showing negative test result. Courtesy of peopleCare.

One of the toughest parts of COVID-19 testing is how long it takes to get a result, but that might not be the case for long.

Last week, over 50 staff at A.R. Goudie Long-Term Care in Kitchener were part of a pilot project of a rapid point-of-care antigen test (POCT), getting results in just 15 minutes instead of days.

“The staff were really excited about having their results right away,” says Marilyn Seabrook, an RN at AR Goudie who leads the weekly staff testing clinics at the home. “Knowing your COVID status in a few minutes instead of waiting days – that’s a huge draw.”

The Ministry of Health is leading the initiative with the goal of rolling out rapid testing in long-term care homes, hospitals and other healthcare settings.

The results of the rapid tests are being compared to the results of a normal COVID test to determine accuracy, and so far, the findings are promising according to the home's parent company, peopleCare.

"In the first week of the pilot, close to 80% of staff with the option to volunteer, stepped up and consented to the second POCT test," said a release. "To date, the findings are promising with 100% negative results from both the POCT and PCR swabs."

PeopleCare is also crediting Region of Waterloo Public Health as a key partner to moving forward with the pilot.

Locally, peopleCare also runs Hilltop Manor and Golden Years long-term care homes in Cambridge.

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