Random COVID-19 testing to start next week

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / shmeljov

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit will begin random community testing for COVID-19 next week.

The health unit expects to set up trailers or a drive-thru test facilities in every municipality in Windsor-Essex over the next two weeks. Anyone who gives consent will be tested whether they are showing any symptoms or not. The health unit will ask for a health card and another piece of ID so they can contact you with the test results.

“To make it truly random and have a true sense of community spread the plan is to pick a spot in the community where we can find many people outdoors and offer spot testing after collecting baseline information,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ahmed Wajid.

Only people tested who are showing symptoms will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Any asymptomatic people who are tested will not be required to self-isolate unless their test comes back positive.

The tests will be conducted with the help of Windsor-Essex EMS paramedics. Dr. Ahmed said he hopes to conduct 1,000-1,500 tests to get an accurate sample size from the community.

The health unit is also working with family doctors and other primary health care providers to start offering testing out of the office for people who do not feel comfortable going to assessment centres.

On Friday, the health unit reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 in the region. Eight are in the migrant farm population while nine are in the community. There have been 15,019 people tested in the community with 843 tests coming back positive. Just over a thousand people are still waiting for their results.

Five more long-term care and retirement facilities have been declared outbreak free. The health unit is still managing outbreaks at eight local facilities.