Ontario is no longer testing COVID-19 patients if they feel better after 14 days
The list of COVID-19 cases marked as "resolved" in Ontario is set to rise rapidly over the next few weeks — but not necessarily because people are getting 100 per cent better.
Ontario's associate medical officer of health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, said during a press conference at Queen's Park on Wednesday that anyone who has tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus will be permitted to end their 14-day period of self isolation if "they feel fine," regardless of test results.
This is because the province simply doesn't have enough swab kits to go around.
"If the case is not hospitalized, they're not a health care worker, they recover, they feel fine and it's been 14 days since they became ill, we're saying they can be considered resolved," said Yaffe during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
"As you know, there there's a lot of lab tests that are being tested, being required..." Yaffe said. "And so, [the negative tests of confirmed patients] tend to not be prioritized."
Previous to this week, patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 needed to have two consecutive tests, performed 24 hours apart, with negative results for the virus to be considered resolved.
As of Thursday morning, the province was reporting 667 confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, with 13 people now deceased and eight marked as resolved.
Canada-wide, 3,385 cases have been recorded with 35 deaths. Toronto, specifically, has seen 319 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and there have been four deaths to date.
Both the City of Toronto and Province of Ontario remain under a state of emergency as public health officials desperately try to slow down the spread of the deadly virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, late last year and has since killed more than 16,000 people worldwide.
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