Skip to main content

'COVID is not done with you': Group urges importance of testing

As life starts to look more like it used to before COVID-19, people’s attitudes around the disease are also changing, according to an online survey by Rapid Test and Trace Canada.

“People want COVID behind them, they want to be done with this and what I say all the time is, look, you might be done with COVID, but COVID is not done with you,” said Sandy White, co-founder of Rapid Test and Trace Canada.

In an effort to prevent more COVID infections over St. Patrick’s Day and other upcoming holidays, the survey looked closely at how Canadians fared with COVID over Christmas.

  • Sixteen per cent of respondents said they tested positive for COVID-19 in December 2021.
  • Forty-one per cent say they got it in January 2022, placing most respondent COVID infections (57 per cent) during the height of the holiday season.

“I think we’ve kind of taken our foot off the gas on the testing front. Yes, great that people want to go back to living their normal lives, but there still needs to be that added caution there,” White said.

Joseph Blondeau, provincial lead for clinical microbiology with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, said testing still has a role until we are further into the pandemic and have a better grasp on where case numbers are going.

He said it’s even more crucial with the highly transmissible Omicron variant and now its BA.2 sub-variant.

“If you happen to be unfortunate enough to be in a gathering where somebody is infected with this virus, even if you’re vaccinated, you could become reinfected and if you’re not vaccinated, you could become infected and then obviously have a difficult clinical course.”

Blondeau said there is also more research available on the accuracy of rapid antigen tests.

He said people who swab their throat, the inside of their cheeks and their nose are more likely to get accurate results.

Blondeau adds that someone who is symptomatic but tests negative on a rapid test could still test positive a few days later.

The survey also looked at COVID concerns.

  • Thirty-one per cent of respondents think it’s “rude“ to ask friends and family to take a COVID test before visits.
  • Twenty-six per cent of those who gathered with others over the holidays said that they asked their family and friends to take a COVID test before meeting up.
  • Eleven per cent of Canadians who plan to visit family or friends over March break, which is marked in several provinces, plan on asking them to take a COVID test beforehand. Top Stories

Ontario doctors disciplined over Israel-Gaza protests

A number of doctors are facing scrutiny for publicizing their opinions on the Israel-Hamas war. Critics say expressing their political views could impact patient care, while others say that it is being used as an excuse for censorship.

'No concessions' St-Onge says in $100M a year news deal with Google

The Canadian government has reached a deal with Google over the Online News Act that will see the tech giant pay $100 million annually to publishers, and continue to allow access to Canadian news content on its platform. This comes after Google had threatened to block news on its platform when the contentious new rules come into effect next month.

Hamas frees 10 Israeli women and children, 4 Thai nationals

Ten Israeli women and children and four Thai nationals held captive in Gaza were freed by Hamas, and Israel followed with the release of a group of Palestinian prisoners Thursday. It was the latest exchange of hostages for prisoners under a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war. Two Russian-Israeli women were also freed by Hamas in a separate release.


opinion Don Martin: With Trudeau resignation fever rising, a Conservative nightmare appears

With speculation rising that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will follow his father's footsteps in the snow to a pre-election resignation, political columnist Don Martin focuses on one Liberal cabinet minister who's emerging as leadership material -- and who stands out as a fresh-faced contrast to the often 'angry and abrasive' leader of the Conservatives.

Stay Connected