Quebec doesn’t have the luxury of being picky about the rapid tests sent by Ottawa at a time when there are many service breakdowns in the school system, says one teachers’ union.
– Also to be read: COVID-19: more than one million unused rapid tests in Quebec
The professors are therefore asking the Legault government to explain the 1.2 million rapid screening tests still unused.
“Since service disruptions persist and schools are the source of more than 30 per cent of VIDOC-19 outbreaks, rapid testing would help prevent these breakdowns and ensure the protection and safety of teachers and their young and adult students,” the Autonomous Federation of Education (FAE) said in a statement Friday.
The Federation points out that, at present, teachers have to wait several days before receiving their test results, despite the commitment of the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, to establish a fast track for the school community.
“Managing a crisis is not easy, we know that. However, Minister Dubé must explain why 1.2 million rapid screening tests are sitting in warehouses while Quebec continues to be the most affected province in Canada,” FEF President Sylvain Mallette said.
On Friday, “Le Journal de Québec” reported that Ottawa cannot digest the Legault government’s delay in using the 1.2 million rapid screening tests for VIDOC-19 that have been sent to it so far.
Since October 30, Quebec City has been providing rapid ID NOW tests and PANBIO antigenic tests from the multinational company Abbott, which are approved by Health Canada and can detect the virus in less than 15 minutes.
Although they have already been approved by Health Canada, Minister Christian Dubé has still not distributed them, preferring instead to have them re-approved for pilot projects at the Saint-Eustache Hospital and the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal.