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COVID-19 rapid tests deployed to some Ontario hospitals, long-term care homes: govt

Premier Doug Ford has repeatedly called the rapid tests "game changers" in the fight against COVID-19

November 24, 2020  The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The Ontario government says it has started distributing COVID-19 rapid tests, with the new tools already being used in some hospitals and long-term care homes.

Premier Doug Ford says rapid tests, which can produce results in minutes rather than days, have been sent to 36 long-term care homes and 27 retirement homes, as well as some hospitals.

He says the province will continue to deploy the 98,000 ID Now tests and 1.2 million Panbio tests it has received from the federal government in the coming weeks.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says another 1.5 million Panbio tests are expected to arrive in Ontario next month.

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The premier has repeatedly called the rapid tests “game changers” in the fight against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Ontario reported 1,009 new cases of COVID-19 on Nov. 24 but the government says a technical issue means the figure is an underestimate. Elliott said the issue also means the Nov. 23 case numbers were an overestimate.

The figures from Nov. 24 include 497 new cases in Toronto, 175 in Peel Region and 118 in York Region.

The province also reported 14 new deaths related to the virus.