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Health minister wants regulators to keep the ball rolling on rapid test approvals

Last Updated Sep 30, 2020 at 6:02 pm MDT

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu listens during a press conference on COVID-19 in West Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said it is an informed coincidence that Health Canada approved a rapid test for COVID-19.

Hajdu said regulators are in regular communication with procurement, which allows them “keep the ball rolling.”

This came a day after Ottawa announced a deal to buy nearly eight-million of them from Abbott Diagnostics.

READ MORE: Health Canada green lights first rapid COVID-19 test

Abbott’s point-of-contact nasal swab can deliver results in 15 minutes.

There was pressure on Health Canada to allow the use of rapid testing in Canada as new cases of COVID-19 surge in several provinces to levels not seen since May.

In some areas, Canadians wait days to get their test results.

COVID-19 response

Alberta reported no new cases and two recoveries of COVID-19 in the RMWB in the last 24 hours

Both recoveries occurred in Fort McMurray, which also a further reduction of one case from its active case count.

There are 45 active cases, one death, and 216 recovered cases of the illness inside the urban service area, and still four active cases and 63 recoveries outside the urban service area.

The region remains under a watch with an active case rate of 59.1 per 100,000 people.

Alberta also confirmed a fifth school in Fort McMurray has an outbreak of COVID-19.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) notified the FMCSD there are now three positive cases linked to École St Paul.

“Alberta Health Services has advised these cases are not the result of in school transmission. At this time, based on advice from AHS, École St Paul School will remain open. Please note there are no additional requirements for any students or staff to self – isolate due to this positive case of COVID-19.”

FMCSD Superintendent George McGuigan said additional cleaning will focus on areas where these individuals were present.

RELATED: FMCSD reports four cases linked to Holy Trinity High School

In the last 24 hours, Alberta has 153 new cases, 141 resolved cases, and one additional death linked to COVID-19.

Health officials conducted 14071 tests with a positivity rate of 1.08 per cent for a total of 1,350,800 tests.

The province has 1582 active cases, 267 deaths, and 16213 recoveries of COVID-19.

64 Albertans are in hospital with 13 in intensive care.

Dr Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, will provide a live update on Oct. 1, 2020.

This article includes excerpts from The Canadian Press.