Canada Air Canada orders first batch of 25,000 rapid COVID-19 testing kits
Federal Conservatives make use of a COVID-19 test not sanctioned by Health Canada
The Ontario caucus of the federal Conservative Party made use of a COVID-19 serological test that has not yet been approved by Health Canada, according to Conservative MP Scot Davidson. Davidson, the Ontario caucus chair, said the caucus used the device "for safety" prior to a recent caucus retreat. COVID-19 cases are rising sharply in parts of the country, including Ontario, and party leader Erin O'Toole, his wife and at least one of hisDavidson, the Ontario caucus chair, said the caucus used the device "for safety" prior to a recent caucus retreat.
Air Canada has ordered 25,000 testing kits that can detect COVID-19 in someone in as little as five minutes, a key hurdle for an industry that's desperately trying to make it safe and possible for travellers to fly again.
The first batch of tests will be for employee volunteers, now that the devices by Abbott Laboratories have beenby federal health and safety authorities, the airline said Thursday.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sept. 24
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 11:26 a.m. EDT on Sept. 24, 2020: There are 148,744 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Quebec: 69,670 confirmed (including 5,810 deaths, 59,943 resolved) _ Ontario: 48,496 confirmed (including 2,836 deaths, 41,886 resolved) _ Alberta: 17,032 confirmed (including 260 deaths, 15,252 resolved) _ British Columbia: 8,395 confirmed (including 227 deaths, 6,769 resolved) _ Saskatchewan: 1,830 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,673 resolved) _ Manitoba: 1,674 confirmed (including 18 deaths, 1,238 resolved) _ Nova Scotia: 1,087 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,021 resolved) _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 272 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 267 res
Current tests have to be administered at testing centres, which have been.
The new test is faster and requires a nasal or throat specimen to be collected from a patient on a swab and inserted into an analyzer to detect the presence of the virus. Positive results come back in as little as five minutes. Negative results can take about 13 minutes to verify.
The airline is moving ahead with the plan after a testing phase when it partnered with McMaster University and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority to test arriving international travellers at Toronto's Pearson airport.
"Preliminary results from the study indicate testing can help protect customers and facilitate the safe relaxation of government travel restrictions," Air Canada said.
COVID-19 school closures have put all students behind, but some are better positioned to catch up
You've likely heard of the summer slide: where students might start the school year having lost some numeracy and literacy skills after a two-month break in formal learning. But families, educators and researchers alike are concerned that this year's summer setback compounded by last spring's pandemic school shutdowns could have lasting, detrimental effects on the achievement of Canadian students if not intentionally addressed this school year. You've likely heard of the summer slide: where students might start the school year having lost some numeracy and literacy skills after a two-month break in formal learning.
More than 13,000 tests
Since the experiment began on Sept. 3, more than 13,000 travellers have been tested.
More than 99 per cent of the tests came back negative. Of the less than one per cent that came back positive, more than 80 per cent were identified on the initial test, while the rest were detected with a followup test seven days later.
"We believe testing will be key to protecting employees and customers until such time as a COVID-19 vaccine is available," said Air Canada's chief medical officer, Dr. Jim Chung.
"Rapid testing is also a means to enable governments to relax current blanket travel restrictions and quarantines in a measured way while still safeguarding the health and safety of the public."
Airlines have been hit harder than many other industries, as, and border restrictions have limited the number of flights that airlines are even allowed to offer.
Unions demand help for sector
The airline hopes that the testing kits will help convince Transport Canada to relax current rules that stipulate all international travellers must self-isolate for 14 days upon landing, an onerous stipulation that the industry says makes people not want to fly.
The testing news also comes as unions representing more than 300,000 aviation workers say more government help is needed for the hard-hit sector.
At a press conference in a Toronto hotel on Thursday, Unifor president Jerry Dias said the industry needs a $7 billion injection from the government and access to low-interest loans urgently, "or there won't be Canadian airlines, and that will cost us all much more."
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