Canada is due to receive the first shipment of ID NOW COVID-19 tests this week and the quicker Panbio rapid tests by the end of the year,.
Health Canada approved a purchase of 7.9 million ID NOW rapid tests from Abbott at the end of September.
The ID NOW test uses a nasal or throat swab that is plugged into an analyzer to get results without being sent to a lab. There is currently a backlog of tests awaiting analysis at existing labs.
The tests are hoped to help alleviate a serious backlog in the current testing system.
The Michener Institute in downtown Toronto is looking to train 600 lab workers to help deal with the backlog of more than 26,500 unprocessed tests as of Oct. 14, according to Global News.
The U.S. had already received the ID NOW tests back in March.
Canada's delay in receiving the test raised the ire of opposition politicians in the House of Commons.
The BinaxNOW antigen test does not require being sent to a lab to get the results nor does it require a device. It is similar to a pregnancy test and renders results within 15 minutes.
To use a BinaxNOW test a swab is taken from the person. Then 6 drops of a solution are dropped onto a credit card sized sheet. The swab is placed on the sheet and the sheet is folded over. The results are ready in 15 minutes. The results can be read with minimal training.
Abbott recommends that physicians, or those taking the swabs, use ID NOW swabs and devices while near the patient, which is how it was designed and intended to be used. A direct swab should be taken from the patient and put directly into the device’s sample receiver.
Abbott received complaints about the ID NOW tests giving some false negative results which resulted from the swabs being first placed into a solution while waiting to be put into the device to get the results. This diluted the viral particles on the swab and caused the false negative result. Once a swab is collected it should be tested immediately.