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Ontario government to ramp up rapid testing in schools, LTCs and some workplaces in coming weeks

Click to play video: 'Toronto lab pivots resources to test for COVID-19 variants' Toronto lab pivots resources to test for COVID-19 variants
WATCH ABOVE: A Toronto research lab has pivoted their resources and is now using their platform to test for COVID-19 variants. The process speeds up the ability to find variants in comparison to the sequencing currently in place at many labs in Canada. Katherine Ward reports. – Feb 4, 2021

The Ontario government is reporting it will expand the use of rapid COVID-19 testing in schools, long-term care homes and essential workplaces.

Once the program has ramped up, health officials say they expect to have one million rapid tests distributed every week.

The ultimate goal, officials say, is that people in the priority settings will be screened multiple times a week.

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They could not provide a timeline though, noting it would depend on how many tests Ontario would secure through the federal government.

Read more: How rapidly is Canada rolling out COVID-19 rapid testing?

Officials say repeated testing has shown benefits and rapid testing is optimal for people who are asymptomatic.

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The province says it has received six million rapid antigen tests since November, and has distributed approximately two million.

Officials expect to have rapid testing in place in Toronto, Peel and York Region schools when they reopen next week.

— With files from Nick Westoll

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