Saskatchewan residents or businesses needing asymptomatic COVID-19 tests will now have a new, user-pay option to get them done.
On December 1st, the Saskatchewan Health Authority announced they’d entered a partnership with privately-owned Quantum Genetix for the tests, which they say can provide results within 24 to 48 hours on average. These tests, which are paid for by users and cost $150 each, are sent out to users and include all the equipment needed for a test and instructions on how to use it.
All health information collected by the kit is directly sent to the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and all positive results will be sent to the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory for confirmation and verification. Quantum Genetix’s laboratory is licensed to perform COVID-19 testing in Saskatchewan.
President of Quantum Genetix Canada Leigh Marquess explains that they have been working in real-time PCR testing at their lab for 15 years and are well equipped to handle COVID-19 testing, and are working with SHA to provide the same standard of testing.
The SHA says they chose to enter the partnership to help alleviate demand on health care workers and add capacity of up to 350 tests daily by the end of December. Saskatchewan Health Authority Executive Director of Laboratory Medicine Lenore Howey says this will allow the SHA to focus on prioritizing testing for people with symptoms, with Quantum picking up the asymptomatic ones.
Howey also notes that this could help people who need to travel internationally and need a COVID-19 negative result under tight timelines, which can be required by airlines or international destinations.
Businesses can enter a collaborative agreement with SHA Laboratory Medicine as well so that they can purchase and run COVID-19 testing platforms independently. SHA says they will help so that businesses’ testing and results reporting meets all standards set out by public health.
Residents or businesses interested can begin receiving the testing packages now and can find more details on the Quantum Genetics website.