COVID-19 testing in Ontario pharmacies begins today

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TORONTO — Some Ontario pharmacies will begin offering COVID-19 tests today as the province tries to ease the burden on busy assessment centres.

Up to 60 pharmacies are offering the appointment-only tests to certain asymptomatic individuals, such as those with loved ones in long-term care homes, close contacts of a case or high-risk workers.

Meanwhile, the government announced yesterday that the province’s assessment centres will now focus on testing those with symptoms, exposure to a case and people involved in outbreak investigations.

Premier Doug Ford had previously said anyone who wanted a test could get one at an assessment centre but changed that message yesterday.

That means some people with no symptoms who are simply seeking reassurance they don’t have the virus will not be able to access testing offered by the province.

Ford is also expected to announce another part of the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan today.

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