Sask. NDP calls for more COVID-19 testing
REGINA -- The Saskatchewan NDP is urging the government to ramp up COVID-19 testing, saying delays puts the province’s re-opening plans at risk.
In a news release Thursday, NDP Leader Ryan Meili said the government should fix the testing capacity in the province to address backlogs. He also urged the province to release figures on testing wait-times.
“It’s inexcusable that we are months into the pandemic, but people in the province are having to wait hours on 811 to speak with someone, days more to be called back, only to be told that they will have to wait a week before they can schedule a test,” Meili said.
“These delays put the re-opening of our economy and our schools at risk. The government must take immediate action to address this.”
Demand for tests has skyrocketed since the province opened up testing for everyone. It’s caused wait-times to increase.
Premier Scott Moe has said the province is looking to expand testing capacity.
“It has been flagged and we don’t want people waiting unnecessarily for a test,” he said earlier this week.
The province has done an average of 1,064 tests per day, though it has capacity to do up to 2,000 in one day.
Meili said capacity is lacking and causing severe backlogs. As well, he said he wants an explanation on why staffing levels have decreased when demand for tests remains high.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority has said people who have potential COVID-19 symptoms should wait 48 hours before getting a test. This helps ensure less false negative results.
Meili also urged the province to provide more clarity on mask use.