Point-of-Care Rapid Testing as a COVID-19 Screening Tool

In October 2020, Health Canada authorized rapid testing to be used in Canada for COVID-19 (the list of authorized devices can be found here). These tests deliver a much faster result than the usual (PCR) testing – usually in under an hour and can be as quick as 15 minutes – and can be used for screening purposes, particularly to help identify asymptomatic, potentially contagious individuals. Positive tests need to be followed up with a PCR test.

This page provides some information on where long-term care homes and other congregate living settings may look to procure these rapid tests. Listed are suppliers of the two types of most commonly used tests:

  • On-the-spot tests that can be done individually and transported around a building;
  • Tests that need to be purchased with a machine, which can process ‘batches’ of test results – this is, therefore, more appropriate for mass testing.

These devices will either require a nasopharyngeal swab (which needs to be administered by a registered health professional), or a nasal swab, which can be used by any trained individual.  

The BC Ministry of Health also announced in early March that implementation of rapid point-of-care testing—including in long-term care—is now being coordinated by a Rapid POC Testing Team set up by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). This team will provide advice and guidance, and assist in accessing provincially supplied, free Point of Care tests. Further information can be found on the BCCDC website.

The Rapid POC Testing Team can be contacted at rapidPOCteam@phsa.ca

Organizations in BC are also eligible to access help from the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Rapid Screening Consortium, which offers a free-of-charge program across Canada to share best practices and tools for implementing a rapid antigen screening process. New cohorts are registered on this program every week – for more information and to register, visit the CDL website here.

SafeCare BC provides the following information to assist organizations to locate rapid testing devices. This is not an exhaustive list, as there may be other suppliers of rapid tests. SafeCare BC does not in any way vet or endorse the suppliers or the products they offer.  

Anyone contemplating the purchase of rapid testing devices should make their own enquiries and assessments with respect to the ability and suitability of the products they purport to provide. Companies or organizations listed are not approved by nor in partnership with SafeCare BC.  

SafeCare BC makes no representation or warranty regarding the suitability of any person, organization or product listed in the directory or that the products they provide comply with CSA, FDA, NIOSH and/or PHAC Standards.  

In no event shall SafeCare BC be liable for any damages or losses of any type suffered by anyone who engages with, or purchases from, a person or organization listed here from any cause whatsoever arising from or in any way related to the purchase of rapid testing devices.

Interim guidance on the use of rapid antigen detection tests for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Spectrum Medical Diagnostics Inc.

Spectrum Medical Diagnostics Inc.         

Location: Mississauga, Ontario

Type of Business: Supplier

Certification/Status: MDEL# 3171

Authorized by Health Canada

Business Information:

Contact:

  • info@spectrummdx.com
  • 1-866-287-2425

Rapid Test & Trace Canada

Rapid Test and Trace Canada Inc             

Location: Quebec

Type of Business: Supplier/Distributor/Advisor

Certification/Status: MDEL 12316 (Gertex Hosiery Inc. operating at Proprietary Innovation Labs)

Order information

  • Minimum Order Quantity – 250 tests
  • Delivery in 2-3 weeks from date of order                           

Contact:   

Roudel Medical & Surgical Supplies       

Roudel Medical & Surgical Supplies       

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Type of Business: Supplier            

Certification/Status: MDEL Number 4299

Additional information: Links to more information about the BD Veritor Plus System:

Order information  

  • Minimum Order Quantity: One Veritor Analyzer and five (5) boxes of Validation Cartridges.
  • Bulk order discounts available.

Contact

  • Wade Halabi     
  • roudelmedical2021@gmail.com             
  • (416) 879-8660