The Quebec Story Today
As reported in Global News article Quebecers wait in long lineups for free rapid COVID-19 test kits. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
Quebecers lined up outside local pharmacies Monday morning looking to get their hands on free rapid COVID-19 testing kits.
At a Jean-Coutu in Anjou, lines were forming as early at 7 a.m. as people looked to nab one of the 108 available kits.
By 9 a.m., the store’s supply had run out, with a number of people left empty-handed, forced to seek elsewhere.
Provincewide, 4.3 million tests are being distributed to 1,900 pharmacies. Another two million are being sent to seniors’ homes.
According to the Quebec Order of Pharmacists, supply is limited, with pharmacies receiving boxes of only 108 kits.
Each kit holds five tests. Anyone over the age of 14 is eligible for one kit per 30-day period to prevent hoarding supply.
The ministry of health says there are both advantages and disadvantages of rapid antigen testing. They are easy to use and you can get a result in less than 15 minutes, but they can also sometimes provide false positives.
Rapid tests can be used for added protection over holidays, but experts warn they aren’t perfect
If your rapid test comes back positive, you should book a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which is considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing, and self-isolate until you receive a negative test result.
On December 20, 2021, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube announced tough new restrictions in an effort to stem the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the province, and he warned further measures may come soon.
Dube called the situation “critical” as he announced that bars, movie theatres and other entertainment venues were to close as of 5 p.m. Monday. Restaurants will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity but will be required to close by 10 p.m.
The Quebec Back Story From January 2021
January 30, 2021 I posted this Covid Rapid Tests Finally Out from Quebec Storage (200 Scientists Ask) Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
A group of 213 scientists, professors, health-care workers and patients published an open letter to the Legault government Thursday calling on Quebec to roll out rapid COVID-19 tests to curb outbreaks more quickly and to step up its communications strategy.
“We have 1.2 million of those tests just sitting in a warehouse in Farnham,” Roxane Borgès Da Silva, a professor with the Université de Montréal’s school of public health, said in an interview Wednesday night. “We have reached a point in the evolution of the pandemic where the health system is at the breaking point. It is time that we use every tool at our disposal.”
Quebec has been hesitant to use the tests widely because it fears their lack of sensitivity could clear people for COVID-19 when they actually have the virus. But Da Silva said the tests are close to 90-per-cent accurate when used on patients who are in an extremely contagious phase, which is crucial to stopping the most dangerous transmitters. The tests could be used at workplaces, high schools and CHSLDs, or be made available at pharmacies and doctors’ offices to allow the public to get tested quickly, Da Silva said.
The main COVID-19 test used in Canada is the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test — which uses the nasal swab that most Quebecers who have gotten a COVID-19 test are familiar with. They are extremely sensitive. They rarely — if ever — declare someone negative who actually has COVID-19; if there is viral material present in someone’s nasal cavity, a PCR test will find it. They are so sensitive that they can detect dead viral material leading to positive results long after the person is no longer infectious, and they are resource intensive, requiring health-care workers to take swabs and lab technicians to process the results.
The tests’ lack of sensitivity and the chance of getting a false negative result worried federal officials, who gave a caveat when they approved the rapid tests, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said at the National Assembly last week.
“It says in small print, ‘be sure to do the second test at the same time. To avoid giving a false negative, continue to do the (PCR) test,” Dubé said.
So Quebec is still double-checking each rapid test result with a PCR test, a cumbersome process that reduces their utility. As a consequence, Dubé said the province has more than one million rapid tests sitting unused or just beginning to be used in pilot projects, as health officials decide the best way to deploy them.
Quebec Public Waits to be Empowered, Gets Controls Instead
As you can see from the above, the purpose of rapid tests is countermanded by policymakers. The empowerment idea is that people feeling ill can readily at home test for infection from SARS CV2. They can then through telemedicine administer anti-viral treatment protocols to clear the virus without severe sickness or requiring hospitalization.
Instead of that, the rapid tests are only employed as a screening for PCR testing. Officials do not want to lose control over case statistics. Nor do they admit or recommend any therapeutics for curing Covid19. They only advise to be vaccinated (again and again), and then isolate when infected until health returns or hospital care is required.
And don’t overlook how the PCR tests are manipulated. See CDC Test for Vaxxed People Comes a Year Too Late. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
From the CDC’s instructions for state health authorities on handling “possible breakthrough infections” (uploaded to their website in late April):
For cases with a known RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) value, submit only specimens with Ct value ≤28 to CDC for sequencing. (Sequencing is not feasible with higher Ct values.)
Throughout the pandemic, CT values in excess of 35 have been the norm, with labs around the world going into the 40s.
Essentially labs were running as many cycles as necessary to achieve a positive result, despite experts warning that this was pointless (even Fauci himself said anything over 35 cycles is meaningless).
But NOW, and only for fully vaccinated people, the CDC will only accept samples achieved from 28 cycles or fewer. That can only be a deliberate decision in order to decrease the number of “breakthrough infections” being officially recorded.
Secondly, asymptomatic or mild infections will no longer be recorded as “covid cases”.
That’s right. Even if a sample collected at the low CT value of 28 can be sequenced into the virus alleged to cause Covid19, the CDC will no longer be keeping records of breakthrough infections that don’t result in hospitalisation or death.
The CDC is demonstrating the beauty of having a “disease” that can appear or disappear depending on how you measure it.
To be clear: If these new policies had been the global approach to “Covid” since December 2019, there would never have been a pandemic at all.