It sounds like progress is being made in the provincial battle against the pandemic! A group of researchers at McMaster University in Ontario are in the process of developing a 30-minute COVID-19 home testing kit. The test could even apparently be ready to hit shelves in a few months.

According to a release by McMaster, the researchers' work is aimed at stopping the trend of community spread via the at-home kit.

“We want to get a self-administered test out the door as quickly as we can. It could be really important for identifying new clusters and stopping community spread by asymptomatic carriers," said John Brennan, director of the biointerfaces institute and a professor at McMaster University.

So how would the kit work in practice?

The release states it would be similar to a home pregnancy test and would show a result on a testing strip in 20 minutes or so.

According to the statement, it works as easily as collecting a mucus sample right on a swab and putting it into a small tube of liquid which would, in turn, break down the virus.

Then the swab would be applied onto the testing strip where it would create a line resembling a pregnancy test in order to show whether or not the person has the virus.

The aim is that it would return results within 30 minutes.

There are currently no home-use COVID-19 test kits available to the public in Canada, so any approval of a test like this would seem to represent a major breakthrough.

And Public Health Ontario says they do offer "many advantages."

"Rapid tests have many advantages including that it is able to provide rapid results. So once you identify a patient in the COVID-19 scenario if someone is positive, it allows public health officials to implement control measures and it allows patients to have answers that are fairly quick," Dr. Samir Patel, a clinical microbiologist at Public Health Ontario, told Narcity via phone call.

"Of course, with any test, whether it’s a rapid test or laboratory test that hospitals may bring in, you have to do a thorough evaluation of the test to make sure that the test provides an accurate result. So rapid tests are no different."

This is just the latest effort by an Ontario university to help in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

A group of GTA students have used their 3D printing skills to create face shields for frontline health workers at hospitals and clinics in Ontario.

Other universities like the University of Guelph and the University of Ottawa have also offered their residential services to healthcare workers and their families who seek to isolate themselves as they are the most exposed to the virus.

As of April 15, the province still had a lower testing rate than it is targeting despite Premier Doug Ford's urge to produce far more results per day.

However, according to CBC, the province has done 9,001 tests since the last update the day before, surpassing their midrange goal of 8,000.

An at-home testing kit coming becoming publicly available int the province could leaven the pressure hospitals and clinics face when it comes to testing for the virus at large quantities.

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