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The Grey Bruce Health Unit has obtained a supply of 14,000 rapid COVID-19 tests. In a January 29 media release, the high performance kits will provide results in 15 to 20 minutes, informing early decision making in relation to case and outbreak management and other potential interventions.

“The ability to make quick decisions in these areas is an extremely valuable tool to help minimize transmission of COVID-19,” read the release, adding that facilities to which they will be shared will include long-term care homes, retirement homes, congregate settings, schools, childcare centres, first responders’ workplaces and more.

The tests will be distributed to community partners to aid in various COVID-19 testing needs requiring rapid results and will help alleviate the current testing wait times for case and contact management investigations, the release said.

The test kits come from Ministry of Health and were originally earmarked for Bruce Power. As Bruce Power has their own testing program, these rapid tests were available to be deployed in the community, said the release.

“The Grey Bruce Health Unit is always looking to reduce barriers related to testing and to improve COVID-19 case and contact management,” said Grey Bruce’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ian Arra. “These rapid tests will help us to be even more nimble in managing cases and clusters of COVID-19, while providing enhanced accessible options for testing to the residents of Grey and Bruce counties,” Arra added.

In addition to test results in 15 to 20 minutes, the nasal/nasopharyngeal Panbio™ Point of Care COVID-19 tests, manufactured by Abbott, provide reliable, high performance sensitivity of 91.4%; portability, can be deployed at point of care in a variety of settings; and accessibility, enabling large-scale testing.