In a new cost-analysis study, researchers recommend widespread SARS-CoV-2 testing of priority groups, including healthcare workers, school students and staff, and essential services employees. The study was led by Dr. Jonathon Campbell, postdoctoral Fellow and Dr. Dick Menzies, senior scientist in the Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program at the RI-MUHC.
“We believe that a strategy of actively testing large population groups who are at increased risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 is feasible and affordable in Canada. This testing approach should be an integral component of a broad strategy to allow all Canadians to return safely to work and school,”
The benefit of widespread testing would be detection and isolation of asymptomatic people infected with SARS-CoV-2. This could prevent community transmission, which otherwise could result in a second wave, and a second shutdown.
- RI-MUHC news: Systematic testing of groups at increased risk of SARS-CoV-2: an affordable and reasonable approach. Sept 10, 2020.
- CTV News: Testing is the best way to contain a second wave of COVID-19: study. by Caroline Van Vlaardingen. Sept 12, 2020.
About the publication:
Active testing of groups at increased risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 in Canada: costs and human resource needs. Campbell JR, Uppal A, Oxlade O, Fregonese F, Bastos ML, Lan Z, Law S, Oh CE, Russell WA, Sulis G, Winters N, Yanes-Lane M, Brisson M, Laszlo S, Evans TG, Menzies D. CMAJ. 2020 Sep 9:cmaj.201128.