‘No value’ in swabbing asymptomatic people, Ontario invests $1B to expand testing

Yahoo News Canada is committed to providing our readers with the most accurate and recent information on all things coronavirus. We know things change quickly, including some possible information in this story. For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage our readers to consult online resources like Canada’s public health website, World Health Organization, as well as our own Yahoo Canada homepage.

As cases of COVID-19 continue to spread around the world, Canadians seem to be increasingly concerned about their health and safety.

Currently, there are more than 6,771 active cases of COVID-19 in Canada (with more than 134,900 diagnoses so far) and 9,100 deaths. Nearly 90 per cent of the country’s reported COVID-19 cases have recovered.

Check back for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in Canada.

For a full archive of the first month of the pandemic, please check our archive of events.

September 24

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Improved Online Portal For COVID-19 Testing: Santa Clara County

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA—If you’re looking to get tested for COVID-19, there’s now more lead time offered for scheduling an appointment through an improved online portal, according to county officials.

Appointments can now be made at the rotating city-based sites a week in advance, and five days in advance at the ongoing Santa Clara County Fairgrounds operation. Appointments can be made at www.sccfreetest.org.

Santa Clara County officials are reminding residents with healthcare coverage that large healthcare systems such as Kaiser Permanente, Sutter/Palo Alto Medical Foundation and others are required by county order to offer free testing to members who:

“We are seeing gains through our efforts to keep the community healthy, but with that comes a continued responsibility for individuals to get tested,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, COVID-19 Testing Officer for the County of Santa Clara. “Whether it’s done through healthcare providers or County sites run by Valley Medical Center,

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Boris Johnson’s Testing Mistakes Are Adding Up

(Bloomberg Opinion) — The scary thing about the U.K.’s much-publicized problems with Covid-19 testing is not that the system is encountering difficulties — those were inevitable. It’s that the government failed to anticipate them, it has not been transparent about what went wrong or convincing on the question of when the problems will be resolved.

Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have been getting an earful from lawmakers from all parties as stories mounted of a meltdown in the country’s testing system. Many people with Covid symptoms have been instructed to travel hundreds of miles for tests and those were the lucky ones. Others seeking to book a test spent hours in a front a screen hitting the refresh button with no joy.

Hancock told Parliament on Tuesday that it would take “weeks” to fix the current problems. When asked on Wednesday, Johnson did not repeat that pledge. He

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Boris Johnson to face MPs as testing ‘failure’ puts NHS ‘under huge pressure’

Getty Images
Getty Images

Boris Johnson will face a grilling from senior MPs amid a warning that the “failure” of the test and trace system is placing “huge pressure” on the health service.

As the system struggles to cope with soaring demand, people have been turning up to accident and emergency to ask for Covid-19 tests.

Mr Johnson will face deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner for PMQs because Sir Keir Starmer remains in isolation awaiting a coronavirus test result for a member of his family.

His appearance in the Commons comes after Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said on Tuesday that a “high volume” of patients arrived to the A&E requesting tests.

Trust chair Professor Donna Hall said people in Bolton – which has the highest infection rate in England – had been trying to get tests via their GPs and the hospital when they could not get them online or at mobile

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Testing will take ‘weeks’ to sort amid ‘enormous challenges’, says Hancock

The Health Secretary told the Commons today that there will need to be prioritisation in testing - AFP
The Health Secretary told the Commons today that there will need to be prioritisation in testing – AFP

The UK is facing an “enormous challenge” with testing as the coronavirus “epidemic is growing” again, the Health Secretary has said, as he announced that tests are now having to be prioritised.

It follows several days of thousands across the UK being unable to book a Covid-19 test, forcing NHS hospitals to cancel operations and turn away patients because staff are stuck at home. 

On the delays, Mr Hancock said that the problem should be solved “in a matter of weeks”. 

Speaking in the Commons this afternoon, Mr Hancock said: “France and Spain have both reported daily figures of over 10,000 positive cases, and increasing hospitalisations. 

“Here in the UK we saw yesterday around 2,600 new cases and last week medical advisers advised that R is above 1. 

“The epidemic is growing.

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1.8M tested in massive Hong Kong testing program

HONG KONG — Nearly 1.8 million Hong Kong residents took voluntary coronavirus tests as part of a massive community testing program, resulting in 42 cases being identified, the government said Tuesday.

The two-week testing program, which ended Monday, was aimed at identifying silent carriers of the coronavirus to cut the transmission chain in a wave of cases that began in July.

Although the total number of people tested fell short of the government’s initial estimate of four to five million, officials say the program met its objectives.

“The program ended smoothly, we have met the policy objective,” Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said at a news conference. “We have identified confirmed cases, we’ve isolated them and given them treatment to cut the transmission chain.”

China’s central government provided resources and staff for the testing program in the city, and many Hong Kong residents expressed fear that DNA might be collected

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Patient First In Gloucester Township Now Testing For Coronavirus

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ — Patient First in Gloucester Township now offers testing for the coronavirus, the health system announced on Monday. It is the third Patient First facility in Camden County to offer coronavirus testing.

Virus testing is available only at designated Patient First testing centers and is by appointment only. Patient First in Gloucester Township is located at 606 Cross Keys Road in the Sicklerville section of the township.

The test that is offered is the RT-PCR (Reverse Transcriptase — Polymerase Chain Reaction) molecular diagnostic test. The test sample is collected at Patient First and is sent to a reference lab for testing.

Coronavirus testing is also available at the Patient First centers in Hamilton, Cherry Hill and Voorhees. Testing appointments can be made online at https://www.patientfirst.com/covid-19/covid-19-testing.

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Delco Hosting Flu Shot Clinic, Coronavirus Testing Next Week

MILLBOURNE, PA — Delaware County is offering residents the chance to get tested for the coronavirus and vaccinated for the flu next week.

The county is hosting two days of coronavirus testing and one day of flu vaccinations in Millbourne.

Whether residents are getting flu shots or coronavirus tests, all must wear masks or face coverings.

Residents can get flu vaccinations from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the Philadelphia Sikh Society, 6706 Garden Court Road in Millbourne.

Flu shots will be available via drive-thru to all residents of Delaware County, 3 years of age or older. Residents are asked to preregister by calling 610-891-6129, but walk-ups will also be allowed.

The drive-thru format is intended to make it more convenient for our older residents, those with disabilities, and parents with small children, and is an optimal set up during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Shots will

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Inside University of Illinois’ massive COVID-19 testing operation

As schools attempt to bring students back to school safely, a game-changer might come out of central Illinois.

The University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus has one of the most aggressive COVID-19 testing protocols among institutions of higher education in the country, as it aims to keep students on campus during the pandemic this fall.

Twice a week, the university tests all students residing on or off campus and employees who report to university facilities using a noninvasive saliva test created by the research institution. That has amounted to as many as 15,000 or 17,000 tests administered in one day — more tests than most universities with on-campus learning have completed since the start of the pandemic, and what a smaller institution testing all its students might handle in a month.

In the last week of August, the university accounted for nearly 20% of all tests reported in Illinois, according to

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As the U.K.’s coronavirus testing system struggles, the health secretary blames too many ‘inappropriate’ tests

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The U.K.’s coronavirus-testing system is overloaded, and the government’s health chief has identified the culprits: people who get tests despite having no COVID-19 symptoms.

“In the last couple of weeks we have seen an increase in demand including…from people who are not eligible for tests, people who don’t have symptoms,” Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said in a Wednesday interview with Sky News. “About 25% of people who are coming forward don’t have symptoms, and aren’t eligible.”

These, apparently, are the people responsible for a situation in which others are being asked to travel hundreds of miles to get tests, and many of those trying to apply online—symptomatic or not—get an error message.

A leading figure in the U.K.’s testing regime has also

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