Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced Sunday that everyone can now get a coronavirus test, regardless of whether they’re showing symptoms.
He urged everyone who’s been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or who is worried to contact their local public health authority to find an assessment centre near them.
“Please go get a test. You will not be turned away,” Ford said. “And bring your family along with you to get tested.”
The advice is a departure from what other public health officials in Canada have been saying thus far, since coronavirus tests are less accurate early on in the infection before people show symptoms.
Until now, health authorities have largely needed to conserve testing kits. That’s why there have been strict criteria before on who’s eligible for a test.
But now, the situation in Ontario has apparently changed.
“Until a vaccine is found, our best defence is to isolate it and slow the spread,” Ford said.
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He added the only way to get Ontario’s testing numbers up is for everyone who feels they need a test to get one.
Ford was also careful to say a negative test result doesn’t rule out risk.
“Even if you receive a negative test result it doesn’t mean you’re clear. You can still be exposed to this virus.”