About 50K rapid COVID-19 PCR, antigen tests used in Saskatchewan: officials

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About 50K rapid COVID-19 PCR, antigen tests used in Saskatchewan: officials

The Saskatchewan government has deployed about half of the federally allocated rapid point-of-care (PCR) and antigen COVID-19 tests, with just over 50,000 tests utilized.

As of April 1, the province has received 823,136 PCR tests from the federal allocation. This includes rapid PCR tests and rapid antigen tests.

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The first shipment arrived in November 2020.

According to the Health Ministry, the Saskatchewan Health Authority has deployed about 50 per cent of allocated point-of-care tests to a number of locations as of April 6.

As of April 4, a total of 50,836 rapid tests have been used and 552 presumptive positive results have shown up.

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The tests have been used in acute care, long-term care facilities and provincial correctional facilities.

Premier Scott Moe told reporters on Friday that the government has deployed a mix of tests that can be used by health-care professionals or by any individual.

“If there are places that have a reason to potentially want a number of rapid tests, we most certainly have looked at making those available on a one-off basis for larger sites where there are people who are interacting,” Moe said.

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Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili said he wants to see these tests not only deployed but also put to use.

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“We talk about needles in arms, we need swabs in noses,” Meili said.

Meili added he wants to see rapid tests utilized in schools but noted that staffing supports also need to be in place to help administer the tests.

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