Ottawa’s COVID-19 testing taskforce introduced Tuesday that they’ve paused walk-in COVID-19 exams, conserving PCR exams accessible for “essential workers who require an urgent COVID-19 test.”
It’s not simply the nation’s capital both. In Montreal, the wait time for a PCR check appointment can reportedly be up to 10 days, relying on the place you reside.
London, Ont. residents are struggling to get themselves COVID-19 examined too, and quite a few COVID-19 testing websites within the Vancouver Coastal Health Region aren’t capable of present an estimated wait time for walk-ins.
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On high of all that, fast exams have turn into one of many nation’s hottest commodities — with Canadians in some areas ready hours within the bitter chilly solely to be turned away with out a fast antigen check in hand.
“People cannot get PCR tests. The rapid tests are hard to find as well,” stated Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist and affiliate professor on the University of Ottawa.
“We’re probably rationing PCR tests to a large extent, by which I mean reserving them for healthcare workers or people who need them for clinical diagnostic purposes.”
Check for Omicron signs
So should you can’t get your hand on a check, what do you have to do? Here’s what we all know.
The very first thing it is best to take into account is whether or not you even have signs of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, or another pressure of COVID-19, in line with infectious illness specialists.
“What do we do when we can’t get a test anymore? The answer is you rely upon the individual citizen to self-diagnose with symptoms,” stated Deonandan.
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Those signs can mirror the signs of a typical chilly or the flu, in line with infectious illness specialist Dr. Gerald Evans, who says his staff has been “carefully tracking the kinds of signs and symptoms that happen in people who are getting Omicron.”
“We’ve got the typical symptoms of a head cold nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat,” Evans stated.
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On high of that, he stated, there’s been “an increase” within the variety of individuals with a “new or worsening cough and headache.”
Those signs, Evans acknowledged, are “kind of nonspecific.”
“You may actually see them with a whole host of things, including just regular influenza,” he added.
According to the federal government of Canada, these are essentially the most generally reported COVID-19 signs, Omicron or in any other case:
- new or worsening cough
- shortness of breath or problem respiratory
- temperature equal to or greater than 38°C
- feeling feverish
- fatigue or weak spot
- muscle or physique aches
- new lack of scent or style
- stomach ache, diarrhea and vomiting
- feeling very unwell
What to do if in case you have COVID-19 signs
Normally, the following step after figuring out COVID-19 signs could be to get examined as quickly as you possibly can, offered that’s what native public well being pointers suggest. But some Canadians may discover it tough to truly e book a PCR testing appointment or discover a fast antigen check, consultants have warned.
In the meantime, they are saying it is best to act as if you understand for positive you’ve gotten COVID-19.
“If you’ve got symptoms, we assume that you’ve got the disease and we ask you to stay home and isolate until the symptoms abate,” Deonandan stated.
“If you’ve got rapid tests, we can use those as well.”
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Different jurisdictions throughout the nation might need differing public well being pointers in the case of isolation, however typically they inform you to isolate for 10 to 14 days after the onset of signs. Evans added that you simply may need to attempt to isolate your self inside your own home, offered you reside with others.
Make positive you control your signs, too, in case they worsen.
“You may need to reach out and go for a visit to an urgent care clinic, perhaps, or an emergency department, if that gets very severe,” Evans stated.
“The things that would cause some concern and might lead to seeking out more care would be trouble with your breathing, or if you’re really suffering from a very prolonged fever and those kinds of aches and pains that come along with it.”
COVID-19 fast exams aren’t at all times correct. But they’re nonetheless helpful, consultants say
If you’ve gotten COVID-19 signs, you’ll need to keep away from any vacation gatherings, Evans added, and it may not be a foul concept so as to add some screening measures to your guidelines earlier than you convey individuals collectively.
“I think a little bit of active screening is not a bad idea, given what’s happening right now,” he stated.
“If you’re gathering together, you should be gathering with people who you’re well-acquainted with…you certainly don’t want anyone at your gathering who’s sniffling and sneezing and got all the rest of your guests very worried about what’s happening.”
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