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With the pandemic virus spreading rapidly in its second wave, one Canadian company that designed a faster alternative to the current COVID-19 tests has received federal approval.

Health Canada has approved ready-to-use thermostable SARS-CoV-2 TRIPLELOCK™ Test Strips designed by Precision Biomonitoring, a company created by scientists from the University of Guelph’s Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, for use across the country.

The Canadian company says these test strips are a rapid diagnostic RT-PCR test that can provide accurate results for nine samples in just 60 minutes.

In comparison, existing testing mechanisms provide COVID-19 results in 24 hours.

According to a statement from the company, the nucleic acid-based test can detect the novel coronavirus, can be transported without refrigeration and are ideal for on the spot tests, especially when results are needed immediately in workplaces and more rural and remote regions.

“We have been working closely with various industries across Canada to help bring their workforce back safely, and are thrilled to be expanding that capability,” said Dr. Mario Thomas, CEO, Precision Biomonitoring.

“This approval also means we can strengthen our ongoing support for federal and provincial governments, as well as Canadian industries.”

The cost-effective test has been approved for use across the country, but it remains to be seen when it will start to be used in B.C.