Teachers cannot explain the fact that 2.4 million rapid COVID-19 screening tests are on the shelves, while schoolchildren are heading back to school, places at high risk of an outbreak.
“Where is the logic in having tests in a still phenomenal quantity and not using them for schools?” We must have answers on this, ”says Sonia Éthier, president of the Centrale des unions du Québec (CSQ).
This week, elementary school students are back on the school benches. Next Monday, it will be the turn of high school teens to come back to class. Sanitary measures have been added, but the tracing of infections is far from optimal.
Mme Éthier does not want to take the place of Public Health, but she is demanding an explanation from the authorities about unused rapid tests, which are however approved by Health Canada and allow COVID-19 to be detected in 15 minutes. “It sure would be a lot better than nothing!”
The president of the CSQ recalls that last spring, the government and Dr Horacio Arruda were slow to impose the mask. She is worried about reliving a similar episode with the rapid tests. “Once again, we pull their ears on this issue,” she insists.
Same virus in Ottawa and Quebec
The president of FAE reports that the virus is the same in Ottawa and Quebec. If Health Canada has approved the rapid screening test, why are the Quebec authorities restricting its use? asks Sylvain Mallette.
“The government must explain to us why these tests are sleeping in the warehouses of the Ministry of Health, while there are teachers who must wait before being able to take the test, wait before having results and that , it leads to breakdowns of educational services, ”he adds.
Earlier this week, Minister Christian Dubé clarified that screening is doing well in Quebec and that the use of rapid tests to massively diagnose COVID-19 in schools and workplaces is not necessary at this stage. this. “Right now, we don’t need them,” he said, adding that these devices are less reliable than laboratory analysis.
Three types of rapid tests are available, one nucleic acid amplification test called ID NOW and two antigen tests, Panbio and BD Veritor. So far, only 6,500 have been used.
Dominique Anglade’s liberals deplore the strategy of the Caquist government and ask that rapid tests be used to screen students and workers in sectors of activity that remain open.