P.E.I. COVID-19 tests results now online, both negative and positive
Public health will now focus on contacting more vulnerable people on the phone
Islanders who are looking for COVID-19 test results online have only ever found out that they don't have the virus when they log on.
That's until now.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison updated the public on how the system will work from now on during Tuesday's briefing.
"Now people who check their test results online will also be able to see if their test result is positive," Morrison said.
She said the results will be posted online within four to 24 hours after the test.
Islanders without access to a computer can call 1-833-533-9333 to get confirmation of results — but were cautioned that staff running the phone line are busy, so callers may need to be patient to get answers.
"The capacity of our office and public health nursing to contact all positive cases in a timely manner has been exceeded," she said.
Anyone over the age of 50 who is positive will be prioritized for follow up, she said.
The provincial website will include information for anyone who tests positive, including isolation instructions. Information can also be found at princeedwardisland.ca/testedpositive
Antigen tests arriving on the Island
Morrison said 190,000 antigen tests arrived from a federal stockpile on Monday, and more will be arriving in the coming days.
Those tests, though, are going to daycares, schools, workplaces and groups to supply programs first.
Once those programs and locations are supplied, public health will also stock Access P.E.I. with tests for the general public.
But, Morrison has a caution about those tests.
"If you have symptoms the best place is to get tested is at a testing clinic," she said.
People with symptoms have been using rapid antigen tests — but, Morrison says, the results are not always reliable on the first test.
"They are negative and think 'Well, I'm symptomatic but maybe I should be able to visit so and so,' or they go to work … and lo and behold the next day they repeat the test and they're positive."
She said a negative rapid test is not a "hallway pass," and that they are just a layer of protection.
Morrison said they are trying to address long lines at provincial testing sites by looking at other ways of doing tests and reporting them.