Alberta top doc warns against DIY COVID-19 testing


By Thomas I. Likness
EBC Edmonton Bureau

EDMONTON (Eagle News) — Alberta’s chief medical officer has a warning to people considering do-it-yourself COVID-19 testing.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Tuesday people should think twice before spending money on testing kits. A number of start-up companies are marketing test kits, saying they can offset the backlog of people waiting for government-approved testing.

Hinshaw said people should be cautious.

I think people will need to be careful about purchasing a test that’s not been licensed, validated with appropriate mechanisms to ensure the test is done properly,” said Hinshaw.

She said she is aware of point-of-care tests that have been approved in the United States that the province is looking into.

Hinshaw said those tests might be made available in health care facilities to give quicker access to testing, especially in remote areas.

Those are tests that will still be done by health care professionals with all of the quality controls around it,” said Hinshaw.

But she is leery of do-it-yourselfers testing people.

The consequences of a false positive or a false negative are significant,” warned Hinshaw. “I am not aware of any tests that have met all of the requirements to be able to be used by somebody on their own home.”

(Eagle News Service)