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Majority of Canadians comfortable with COVID testing at local pharmacies: survey

The survey shows 41 per cent of Canadians say they are more likely to get tested for COVID-19 if the service were available at a local pharmacy
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A new survey shows that Canadians would feel safer returning to work and sending their kids back to school if pharmacists were allowed to administer COVID-19 tests in their province.

CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, Justin Bates told Kitchener Today with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS there are a lot of things to consider in order to bring testing to pharmacies.

"First and foremost, we want to keep the patients and pharmacy staff safe," he said, "So access to personal protective equipment is top of mind. We're thinking about how to optimally implement the service, to have potentially a seperate room, appointment-based type of scheduling so we can manage the influx of patients at the store."

He said they are working on putting in guidelines regarding sanitation, and where they would begin rolling out the service.

"Where would it start? How many stores would participate?" Bates asked, "I think it makes a lot of sense to start in the hotspots, so I think we are seeing unfortunately an uptick in COVID cases in regions like Peel, Toronto and Ottawa."

"I think there's a high probability that we would focus a pilot there."

Bates said in order to increase testing, they need to also make sure there isn't a bottleneck on either side.

"So while we increase the patient convenience and access to testing, we also need to ensure that the capacity to deliver the test results in less than 48 hours is still maintained," he said, "That's the model in Alberta. They have a turnaround time of less than 48 hours from the collection of the sample."

According to the survey commissioned by Canadian Pharmacists Association, 41 per cent of Canadians say they are more likely to get tested for COVID-19 if the service were available at a local pharmacy.


Aastha Shetty

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