How rapid coronavirus testing could help Canada flatten the curve

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Health Canada recently approved a test for COVID-19 that claims to deliver results in half an hour — much faster than most testing methods currently being used across Canada.

And having more, faster tests could make a big difference in how Canada fights the disease, experts say.

Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, said he felt “joy and relief” at hearing that a faster test was available.

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“We need rapid testing if we’re going to return to a new normal.”


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The new test, made by Spartan Bioscience in Ottawa, is portable — about the size of a coffee cup. The tester takes a throat swab from a patient, pops it into the small machine, and less than an hour later, it gives a result, said Paul Lem, founder and CEO of Spartan Bioscience.

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Another rapid test, made by Abbott Laboratories, was recently approved for use in the U.S.

Spartan plans to eventually make thousands of testing devices per week, and hundreds of thousands of testing kits,

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