P.E.I. introduces rapid COVID-19 tests at border

·1 min read
Transport truck drivers will be able to get out of self-isolation more quickly. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)
Transport truck drivers will be able to get out of self-isolation more quickly. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)

Truckers and rotational workers arriving on P.E.I. are being given access to COVID-19 tests that will give them results with two hours, starting Monday.

Truckers were complaining last week about short hours at the testing clinic at the foot of Confederation Bridge, and self-isolation periods while waiting for initial test results.

"Many of the people we test at the border are providing essential services to P.E.I.," said Health PEI head of nursing Marion Dowling in a news release.

"Providing fast and accurate COVID-19 tests for people entering the province is important to protect P.E.I. from importation of the virus."

P.E.I. extended opening hours for the COVID-19 in response to truckers' concerns on Friday.

Under the new testing system, truckers and rotational workers will get a rapid test at the Borden-Carleton site. If the test is positive they will receive a call within two hours. If two hours passes without a call, that means it was negative, and they can come out of self-isolation.

A positive result will need to be confirmed by a PCR test, but the person would remain in quarantine in the meantime.

Seafood processors on board

Jerry Gavin, executive director of P.E.I.'s Seafood Processors Association, said the industry can work within the new rules.

"We understand why they're there, it's a little scary right now in Atlantic Canada.," he said.

"Our main concern is around public safety, and ensuring that we don't get COVID-19 in our processing plants, especially during the busy spring season."

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