As the number of reported cases of COVID-19 continue to climb in Canada, so do questions about testing for the infection – including why it can take so long to get results.
“When testing is done in the lab, we also have to arrange for transportation of the specimens from where they're collected to the lab and then for the delivery of the results. These processes add to the turnaround time for the test results,” says Vivek Goel, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health and a special adviser to the president and provost who is helping guide the university’s COVID-19 planning efforts.
“Point-of-care testing holds great promise. This could be done with or without a health professional and in theory could be done in any site – a school or workplace or at home.”
In episode 29 of his podcast on the pandemic, Goel – a renowned public health expert and founding head of Public Health Ontario, which was set up in response to the 2003 SARS outbreak – explains how health-care professionals test for infection today, and how that may change in the future.
The COVID-19: What’s Next podcast is created by Goel in collaboration with a University of Toronto Communications team led by producer Lisa Lightbourn.
Note: The information in this podcast is current as of the posting date. Listeners should consult their local public health agency for the latest information in their jurisdiction.