The Ontario government has announced on Friday that anyone can now get tested for COVID-19 should they feel they are experiencing symptoms, according to Blog TO.
The announcement was made to clear the air surrounding whether or not one should be visiting testing centres without explicit orders from their family doctor or from a hospital visit. Much of the information on this issue has changed several times over the past several weeks.
In March, the province of Ontario announced that tests were only to be for select individuals and people who were part of highly-vulnerable age groups, such as front-line workers or the elderly. That announcement was made repeatedly at the time due to the shortage of testing kits available at the time.
At the beginning of April most COVID-19 assessment centres were turning people away at a rate of about 25 percent. This resulted in many people posting their experiences online, claiming that they couldn't get a test even when they showed severe symptoms, were exposed to someone who was infected, or had recently travelled abroad.
Since then, testing kits have been abundantly restocked and the overall testing capacity has been ramped up, leading Ontario's public health officials to ask anyone who may be experiencing symptoms to go and get tested as soon as possible.
"We have a strategy and we're moving forward with that strategy to make sure we get as many people tested as possible," said Premier Doug Ford during a press briefing on Friday afternoon. "We encourage people, if you have symptoms, go to the assessment centres," added Ford. He also said that there are now 144 different testing facilities set up across the province.
"Go and get tested, we encourage it. No one's going to be refused. Please go there." said Ford. He went on to lament the fact that as he drives past testing centres on his way to work, that he sees no line-ups out front. Once again, he urged Ontarians with suspected symptoms to "please go out and get tested."
The Ford government is also planning a layout for testing random, asymptomatic people which will be unveiled next week.