Toronto Public Health vice-chair questions city’s COVID-19 policy
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Crown and the Toronto Public Health announced an agreement to move forward with the process of implementing a policy to encourage more testing for COVID-19.
“We agree that while no one wants to go into hospital unnecessarily, we recognize that it’s good practice to have as many people as possible get tested,” TPH said in a statement.
A TPH spokesperson told the Toronto Star that the proposed policy calls for the collection of more saliva and other non-medical samples.
“As the scientific community continues to develop and test more effective COVID-19 medications and vaccine, it is essential to keep people well and healthy including collecting and analyzing more non-medical samples, which will hopefully lead to faster identification and diagnosis of COVID-19,” said the spokesperson.
The testing policy will require the creation of a new committee to research these issues and come up with a strategy for how such a policy could improve Toronto’s response to the virus.
This isn’t the first time the city has contemplated testing for COVID-19. In early March, the city announced it planned to launch a rapid COVID-19 assessment system that would collect saliva, swabs, urine and blood samples of anyone who entered a shelter, hotel or long-term care facility across the city.
The city said its initial target is to have the system operational by April 11.
So is this a good idea?
It’s one that could be better applied than it seems as the Toronto Public Health spokesperson said that a person must have signs and symptoms of the virus in order to be tested.
“The city knows that there will be periods where people will not report symptoms,” the spokesperson said. “If we are to get ahead of the curve, we need to be testing as many people as possible.”
What happens if the city collects and analyzes more samples from healthy people?
The Toronto Public Health spokesperson said that the city will still collect and analyze more saliva and other non-medical samples from people who are at risk but who don’t have a confirmed case of COVID-19