Pilots to Reduce COVID Quarantines from 14 Days towards 48 Hours Using Rapid Testing

Canada will have a pilot program for international travelers for the option to shorten the 14-day self-isolation period for COVID-19 to about 48 hours if a traveler receives a negative COVID-19 test result at one of two border crossings in the province.

If the test comes back negative, travelers will be allowed to leave their place of quarantine as long as they remain in Alberta for the first 14 days and commit to getting a second test on Day 6 or 7 after arrival, at a community pharmacy participating in the pilot program.

If the results are positive the program will be expanded to other Canadian cities.

Abbott Labs ID NOW™ Molecular Platform2
As a world leader in point-of-care diagnostics, Abbott first introduced in 2014, the ID NOW system. It is the leading molecular point-of-care platform for Influenza A & B, Strep A and RSV testing in the U.S. ID NOW is a rapid, instrument-based, isothermal system for the qualitative detection of infectious diseases. Its unique isothermal nucleic acid amplification technology provides molecular results in just minutes, allowing clinicians to make evidence-based clinical decisions during a patient visit.

The gold standard for diagnosing covid-19 is a PCR test. Your nasal passages are swabbed and the sample is sent through a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR amplifies any viral genetic material to make the test more accurate. False negatives are usually very rare, close to only about 2%. Early studies in the pandemic reported false negative rates as high as 37% for nasal swabs, but these problems appear to have been fixed.

Abbott claims ID NOW test has a false negative rate of 5.3%. Other studies have show false negatives as high as 75%. Abbot has BinaxNOW which could deliver results in under 15 minutes and a false negative rate of just 2.9%.

Abundant Fast, Accurate COVID Tests Can Reduce the Societal Burden

In the first week of October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization for scientists at UCLA Health to begin using a new method of COVID-19 detection using sequencing technology called SwabSeq. The method is capable of testing thousands of samples for coronavirus at the same time, producing accurate, individual results in 12 to 24 hours. SwabSeq adds a unique molecular bar code to each sample in the first step of its processing. The samples are then combined in a sequencer and the bar codes allow for the identification of which specific sample has the virus. The underlying technology of SwabSeq can be applied to any type of sample collection, such as a nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal or saliva test.

SOURCES – UCLA, Abbott, CBC, Calgary International Airport
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

3 thoughts on “Pilots to Reduce COVID Quarantines from 14 Days towards 48 Hours Using Rapid Testing”

  1. I am digging the idea of using apps to encourage infected people to quarantine as Poland, several East Asia Countries and other do as this seems to be the Achilles heel that allows transmission now that tests are more abundant.

    My take on such a smart phone app is that not only it can conduct and be fed with other forms of social tracing data, but that it generates a screen that can inform others if you might have been exposed to the virus lately. It can be used to monitor people who enter a restaurant, go on a bus, a classroom, work and any gathering even between friends and family. In other words it will enforce self isolation for people that need to be.

    It will also have you schedule a rapid appointment for testing. If you do not, you will be fined.

    Like in the Polish app, if you test positive, it will have you take a picture of yourself and record their GPS every so often at a random intervals to confirm that you are indeed quarantining.

    Sorry guys, we live in very darn circumstances that require special measures, especially now that a much bigger second wave is already moving to shore.

  2. It's mostly about Policy than Tech. Getting the local Health Authority to recognize, document, and ensure that those 'quick results' are part of an accessible database is the biggie. besides, most 'institutional facility' questionnaires say 'have you been out of the country in the last 14 days' rather than have you had a positive result, etc. If we are not figured out (vaccine, comprehensive testing validation, 'who-cares-i-give-up' policy enactment/ rogue uprising, etc.) by 1Q 2021 this will be expedited for sure.

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