With so much information coming at a person about COVID-19, sometimes it is difficult to tell fact from fiction.One social media rumour regarding COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing is a claim that the test is inaccurate or that our labs are not following World Health Organization and Health Canada guidelines for COVID-19 testing. That is not correct.
All COVID-19 tests in Saskatchewan are interpreted according to their IFU (instructions for use/ manufacturer's recommendations) which are approved by Health Canada. The number of cycles (number of times sample viral RNA (ribonucleic acid) need to be amplified to reach a detectable level) depends of the assay (test) but the general standard for most PCRs is to go through 40 cycles. The actual threshold for positive versus indeterminate are chosen based on validations and vary assay to assay based on the clinical performance. Our lab staff meet the highest standards possible and work very hard every day to ensure quality control and that results are accurate.
Stay home if you feel unwell and take the self-assessment tool to determine if you need a COVID-19 test. Continue to follow the current public health order and all public health advice.