Ontario pharmacies can safely test people with COVID symptoms, health minister says

TORONTO — Ontario’s health minister says people with COVID-19 symptoms can be safely tested for the virus in pharmacies.

Safety concerns were raised in the legislature today about the proposed plan, but Christine Elliott says infection and control measures will be followed.

She says parts of rural and northern Ontario have a need for testing options, and precautions will be taken to keep people safe.

She also says there will be a list of participating pharmacies and signage posted outside so people know before entering the facility.

The Opposition New Democrats asked today whether the testing rules are being changed after lobbying efforts, but Elliott says they based the decision on the advice of top health officials.

Ontario pharmacies are currently only able to perform COVID-19 tests for people who don’t have symptoms, haven’t been in contact with an infected person and aren’t connected to an outbreak.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2021.

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