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Canada Marni Soupcoff: Here are the reasons why testing for COVID-19 matters

19:08  26 march  2020
19:08  26 march  2020 Source:   nationalpost.com

Swabs used to test for COVID-19 running 'critically' low, BCCDC says

  Swabs used to test for COVID-19 running 'critically' low, BCCDC says The supply of swabs used to test for COVID-19 is 'critically limited,' according to the The B.C. Centre for Disease Control's website.The warning over the nasopharyngeal swabs, which are used to collect samples from patients, appear in guidelines for lab testing on the BCCDC website. Any supply issues could effect the rate of testing at a critical time, as the World Health Organization (WHO) urges increased testing for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Why is it that Ontario doesn’t have the capacity to do all the COVID - 19 testing it ought to be doing? I’m sure being ready to handle COVID - 19 would not have been easy for Ontario or Canada. I must admit that I expected better here . “The early detection, isolation and treatment has translated into a

Share this story. Marni Soupcoff : Ontario's restricted COVID - 19 testing goes beyond 'not Health-care workers speak with motorists at a drive-through COVID - 19 assessment centre in And we ’ re wondering why it’s proving so hard to get people to take social distancing seriously and stay home?

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

a group of people standing next to a person: A nurse greets patients outside a COVID-19 assessment centre in Ottawa on March 25, 2020. © Patrick Doyle/Reuters A nurse greets patients outside a COVID-19 assessment centre in Ottawa on March 25, 2020.

Why?

If I had to characterize the common thematic thread of the messages and emails I’ve been receiving in response to my recent columns arguing Ontario must do more testing for coronavirus, that question would be it. Why?

Sometimes people ask the question in a way that makes it clear they don’t want an answer (“Why do more testing when there’s no point?”). Occasionally people ask the question in a way that causes me to mistake it for a genuine query (“Why is testing helpful?”). And then it’s only after I’ve sent 10 tweets in earnest answer that the person responds in a way that makes me realize I needn’t have bothered (“This is flu season. Symptoms are similar. Look up numbers.”).

Windsor man stuck in Morocco is told he tests positive for COVID-19

  Windsor man stuck in Morocco is told he tests positive for COVID-19 A Windsor, Ont. man who became stuck in Morocco after travelling there for vacation two weeks ago has been told by doctors he has tested positive for COVID-19. Rakan Aloran posted a video to his Facebook page on March 18, stating he was in a hospital in Tangiers after being tested for the virus. "I just got my test results back for COVID-19 and I tested positive," Aloran said in a video. "I'm spending my second night in the Moroccan hospital quarantined. I spent my whole time here. I cannot get out." Aloran told CBC News he hasn't actually seen the test results with his own eyes, and is asking for the paperwork.

Marni Soupcoff . 3 days ago. Talking to the BBC, Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness, explained why he considers it extremely unlikely that the United States will follow Italy’s lead and quarantine a large part of its population, in an

On Wednesday, we learned that Ontario was experiencing a backlog of nearly 3,400 COVID - 19 tests and a four-day wait for results. Health Minister Christine Elliott called this unacceptable, and there’s no debate about that.

Debating whether the current COVID-19 outbreak is not so much a pandemic as a bunch of hypochondriacs overreacting to influenza — well, that doesn’t feel like a good use of my time. However, it seems as though a lot of those who have contacted me asking why I’m so adamant that we need more testing are people who truly want to know.

 A COVID-19 assessment centre is seen outside Birchmount Hospital in Toronto. © Veronica Henri/Postmedia A COVID-19 assessment centre is seen outside Birchmount Hospital in Toronto.

And I understand why they’re skeptical: there’s no cure or early treatment for COVID-19, we’re socially distancing already, people who are symptomatic or returning from abroad are being told to self isolate as though they were infected, people in true medical distress will still go to the hospital. Given all that, why is ramping up testing helpful, let alone crucial? Here are some of the reasons.

Jackson Doughart on COVID-19: Canada's experiment in good faith may lead to catastrophe

  Jackson Doughart on COVID-19: Canada's experiment in good faith may lead to catastrophe How do you convince 37 million people to take something seriously? In response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, public health bodies, politicians and the media have been blasting fairly simple instructions: keep your distance from other people, wash your hands often and stay home as much as possible. But will this strategy work well enough to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 graph? Only data on infections and deaths, and the pressure placed on our hospitals over the coming months will answer this question. Yet it’s going to take time to find out if the message has gotten through. And by then, it will likely be too late to change course.

• While COVID - 19 is a mild disease for most people, it can make some very ill. Around 1 in every 5 people who catch COVID - 19 needs hospital treatment. o Your local or national public health authority may be able to offer support and guidance in developing your plan. Remember: Now is the time to

Последние твиты от Marni Soupcoff (@ soupcoff ). Former executive director and newspaper and blog editor. Marni Soupcoff : Let's be like Iceland, and allow private companies to handle COVID - 19 testing https Here 's an unexpected side effect of the pandemic - the water's flowing through the

Test results allow a person to find out whether they can hug and sleep in the same room as their spouse, or whether they can cuddle with their young child. It’s the difference between sharing meals with immediate family or staying holed up in the basement doing separate loads of laundry.

That’s a minor advantage but not a trivial one.

a man standing in front of a building:  A medical worker prepares to swab a resident at a drive-through coronavirus testing facility at Sainte-Justine Children’s Hospital in Montreal on March 21, 2020. © Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg A medical worker prepares to swab a resident at a drive-through coronavirus testing facility at Sainte-Justine Children’s Hospital in Montreal on March 21, 2020.

And as the government gets more serious about what self-isolating means, steps that make isolation less disruptive and painful are especially helpful. For example, the federal government is now imposing mandatory quarantines on returning international travellers that forbid them from returning to their homes for 14 days if they live with a vulnerable person. The government will be paying to house these travellers in a hotel for two weeks in case they might be infected. If the government tested them instead, many of them could just go home and at least be isolated with loved ones.

How Alberta has managed to do more COVID-19 tests than any other province

  How Alberta has managed to do more COVID-19 tests than any other province To date, Alberta has completed just over 20,000 COVID-19 tests — more than any other province in Canada. That's been possible due to existing infrastructure, the early availability of testing kits, collaboration with universities and a testing process that runs around the clock, according to Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw. That's been possible due to existing infrastructure, the early availability of testing kits, collaboration with universities and a testing process that runs around the clock, according to Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

Marni Soupcoff : Chilling reasons to be paranoid about government research. After COVID - 19 grew from a worrying news story into a generational terror, the pathogen having its moment in the glare of popular attention these days is the virus. Here 's what you should know.

COVID - 19 : your questions, answered. Work on a vaccine is underway - but it could take up to 18 months to reach the public. However, solid scientific evidence is needed to address questions like: How accurate were the test results? Was the recovered patient reinfected with the virus, or did they

It is true that testing does not in itself stop the spread of the virus. But we’re confident that quarantine and self-isolation do, and people are more likely to take these measures seriously — complying with them strictly rather than holding impromptu chat circles with neighbours while walking the dog — if they know they are infected.

Granted we don’t know for sure at this point; early indications are that most people infected with the coronavirus have either no symptoms at all or very mild symptoms. They won’t realize they have COVID-19 and will be less careful as a result.

Speaking of knowing things about the coronavirus, we don’t know very much, but almost everything we do know is a result of testing for it, and almost everything we can hope to learn about it in the future will be the result of testing for it.

How long do people infected with coronavirus shed the virus, potentially passing it on to other people? We need more testing to find out. If it turns out to be more than 14 days, our current isolation and quarantine strategies will have to be adjusted for better results. (And boy, would it have been nice to know that a couple weeks ago.)

Kingston police looking for man who allegedly threatened hospital staff at COVID-19 testing centre

  Kingston police looking for man who allegedly threatened hospital staff at COVID-19 testing centre Kingston police say the man may have recently travelled back from Florida.The man, who had recently come back from a trip to Florida, visited the hospital Friday evening with a young family member.

Does it matter which person was the perpetrator and which person was the victim? For anyone living in the real world, of course it does. Doctors say we need to decide now who gets care if COVID - 19 overwhelms ICUs. 'We may dodge a big bullet here . But we may well end up in a situation where

Questions about coronavirus or COVID - 19 ? Click here . Ask to schedule a telehealth appointment with your doctor for a new or ongoing nonurgent matter . How reliable is the test for COVID - 19 ? Why are we so worried about COVID - 19 ? Shouldn't we be more focused on preventing deaths from the flu?

Has closing schools and businesses even worked at all? Probably. But we won’t know — and we certainly won’t know to what degree — until we ramp up testing.

a woman holding a sign:  A woman arrives at a COVID-19 assessment centre at the Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto on March 24, 2020. © Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press A woman arrives at a COVID-19 assessment centre at the Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto on March 24, 2020.

So far, countries that have embarked on aggressive testing have also been the most successful at flattening their curves (an important step to try to minimize the overwhelming of hospitals, as you may have heard once or twice by now).

Correlation doesn’t equal causation. But it would make sense that this isn’t a coincidence because countries such as South Korea have used their testing results to pinpoint infection hotspots and nip the spread of the virus in the bud there.

As I’m writing this on the evening of March 25, Ontario has a backlog of over 10,000 tests, and has completed just over 25,000 tests. As a comparison, the state of Washington, which has roughly half Ontario’s population, has completed about 34,000 tests.

It matters.

• Email: soupcoff@gmail.com | Twitter: soupcoff

Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. focusing COVID-19 testing 'where it makes the most difference' .
B.C.'s provincial health officer has clarified the province's strategy for COVID-19 testing, saying the approach right now is to focus on protecting the health-care system. On Tuesday, Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters that "we are absolutely testing and contact-tracing anybody for whom we don't know the source of their infection." But CBC News has heard in recent days from numerous British Columbians who say they have symptoms of the disease and unexplained sources of potential transmission but have been unable to get tested. Henry spelled out B.C.

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