7 months into pandemic, Quebec overhauls COVID-19 screening strategy

Quebecers will soon be able to book COVID-19 tests online, and receive negative test result by email or text message.

Province wants nurses to spend less time booking COVID-19 tests by phone

Quebec's health minister, Christian Dubé, says the province's new COVID-19 screening system will free up nurses to provide more direct care. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

With the province in the middle of a second wave of COVID-19, the Quebec government has sacked the firm that, for months, had been in charge of the its coronavirus screening system. 

The province will replace one Quebec firm with another, abandoning Akinox and switching to a system developed by Deloitte for a one-year contract worth $12.4 million. 

According to Radio-Canada, the new system will allow people to use the self-assessment tool that's already online and, at the same time, schedule a COVID-19 test near their home.

Negative test results will be sent by text message or email, which, according to a statement by Health Minister Christian Dubé, "will free up nursing personnel to concentrate on COVID tests and contact tracing."

Deloitte's system, called Health Connect, is being tested by two regional health agencies — one in northern Montreal and the other in the Quebec City region — and is expected to be used across the province in the next six to eight weeks.

According to Radio-Canada, the government can cancel the contract if it is not satisfied with the results after 30 days.

With files from Sébastien Bovet

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