Toronto public schools to have PCR test kits for COVID-19 by week’s end
Posted October 25, 2021 8:44 am.
Last Updated October 25, 2021 8:58 am.
City of Toronto officials say every public school in the city will have PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test kits for COVID-19 by the end of the week.
The take-home test kits can be used if a student develops symptoms of COVID-19, or if another student or staff member in their class has tested positive.
“We’re doing everything we can as a city to help school boards and the provincial government keep schools open and as safe as possible,” Mayor John Tory said in a release.
“Toronto Public Health is ensuring PCR tests are available in every school so positive cases can be more easily identified before COVID-19 can spread and cause additional exposures to families or other students in schools.”
This is the first program of its kind in Ontario. Earlier this year, the Hospital for Sick Children, Michael Garron Hospital and Women’s College Hospital ran a PCR test pilot project in select schools.
“PCR tests are the gold standard of COVID-19 tests with the highest accuracy rate, compared to other self-administered tests,” officials said in a release.
“By ensuring PCR tests are available in every school, students and staff have access to an easy to use testing kit, allowing for positive cases to be more easily identified before COVID-19 can spread and cause additional exposures to families or other students in schools.”
How the PCR test works
The test is administered by swabbing the tongue, cheek and inside the nostril, or through collecting saliva.
After the test is completed, it can be dropped off at a local testing site or at select schools for processing. The results of the test will take around 24 to 48 hours.
If a child tests positive for COVID-19, the parent or caregiver will be notified directly and will be advised of the next steps.