Since April 9, in order to prevent the outbreak, all volunteer staff have been invited to test themselves twice a week, as well as people who live under one roof. The test gives results in 15 minutes.
Like many health establishments, we ran tens of thousands of rapid tests in our basements, in boxes, which were useless.He tells my microbiologist and infectious disease specialistICM Richard Marchand.
In Quebec, 4,650,816 Rapid Tests are stored without use [en date du 19 avril]. Of these, 40% are in the Ministry of Health warehouses and 60% are by health facilities or companies.
Quebec confirms that only 100,252 of these rapid tests have been used so far in the province, or 2% of all tests received from the federal government.
Dr. Marchand explains that if very little rapid tests are used in Quebec, it is because public health has asked health institutions not to use it as a diagnostic tool.
They are already Less sensitive than PCR tests It is found in screening clinics.
L ‘ICMGet around the rules of public health
Dr. Marchand and the Montreal Heart Institute have found a way to keep using rapid tests:
We decided not to use it for diagnostic purposes, but instead to control risk.
Mathematical models show that the risk can be reduced by 85%.
To compose a picture, it’s about spreading a net and trying to capture the most asymptomatic case of COVID-19, while also accepting that some might slip through the cracks.
A third of those infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms and can transmit the virus without knowing it.
It’s like you have a thermometer in the airport and every time the red light shines [le test rapide positif]Then, you’ll run a diagnostic test [PCR]Marchand explains.
Like a pregnancy test
To test themselves, the staffICMTheir families must insert a swab either into the nose or mouth and use a reagent. Like a pregnancy test, a positive result appears if there are two strips instead of one on the strip.
If only one person has tested positive at home, the entire family should be tested in the clinic.
The fact that rapid tests are less sensitive than PCR does not worry Dr. Marchan, on the contrary.
Since their sensitivity threshold is the threshold for infection, this means that they can detect the most contagious people., He said.
It has already been shown that PCR tests can be positive for someone who is no longer contagious, because they still have traces of the dead virus.
Another advantage of the rapid tests, according to Dr. Marchand, is their cost: about $ 6 per unit for the federal government.
For the price of PCR, you can do between 6 and 10 antigen tests, He adds.
No need for a nurse, lab technician, machine, etc.
Critical experience at ICM
On the weekend of April 10, it wasICMHe was thus able to discover that the child and the employee’s wife were positive, but without symptoms. A later PCR test revealed that the father also had a super-reproducible viral load.
Without the quick test, the employee would have gone to work and contaminated colleagues and patients.
Since the beginning of the pilot project inICM, 23,000 tests were conducted, which revealed 20 factors ofICM Positive and asymptomatic.
Dr. Marchand remembers that during the first wave, while he was …ICMPatients infected with COVID-19 have not been treated, staff members in the community, often children, have been infected.
We had 142 employees out of the 2,000 who contracted COVID at the institute, including only 7 who contracted it at work. Up to 15-20% of employees were absent in this wayMarchand says.
We had to find a way to manage our risks by bringing in employees without exposing ourselves too much.
A solution for families fed up with the epidemic?
According to Professor Roxanne Borges da Silva at the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal, it
Residues For over 4 million tests
Who sleep In warehouses.
What a sadnessas you say.
The expert confirms that the extensive use of rapid tests can solve the problems of delaying for several days before obtaining the examination and the results, as we have seen in Al-Batawiya.
I think of these families, especially the last one who wrote to me this morning: Three children (5, 10 and 14), the child had a runny nose. As good citizens, parents decide to go for the testProfessor says.
The effect of waiting for an outcome is enormous for this family. The two adults cannot go to school for two days and have failed the exams that they will have to repeat. Parents (one of them a primary school teacher) can no longer go to work (loss of income).
according to JournalismIn February, the Quebec government intends to facilitate access to express tests for companies by simplifying the process that begins this week.
Ontario is more advanced in this area than QuebecBecause the use of rapid tests is already well established and developed in schools, companies and homes for the elderly.
The opposition demands that they be used
This is one of the biggest mysteries of the epidemic. Why don’t we use it more?Asks liberal parliamentary leader Andre Fortin, in response to this article.
InexplicableAccording to Quebec spokesperson Solidere Gabriel Nadu Dubois.
Why don’t we use it? Why do we deprive ourselves of a tool?
Rapid Tests are Political Groundhog Day in QuebecJoking, Parti Québécois party leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.
Why is Quebec reluctant to use it?