CHL is working to create a national network of new labs focused exclusively on COVID-19 testing. These new labs will use highly sophisticated technology and equipment to process a high volume of tests and deliver results quickly. By solely conducting COVID-19 tests, we believe CHL can bring in process improvements not possible in labs where thousands of other tests are being performed.
Our scientists use the gold standard PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test for COVID 19, which is currently the most reliable testing solution and the one that can best determine if an asymptomatic person has the virus. Here's how it works:
- The test process begins with a self-collected oral/nasal swab (a person swabs the inside of their cheek and the lower portion of their nose), which is more comfortable and easier to use than the long nasopharyngeal swabs, but with similar specificity and sensitivity.
- When the swab arrives at the CHL lab, specimens are pooled - four samples are put together in a single tube for analysis and, if it's a positive test, the samples are re-tested individually to determine where the positive test originated.
- Our high throughput robotics extract and amplify samples, which makes testing both fast - targeted turn-around time for results is 24 hours - and accurate.
- CHL uses an advanced laboratory information system that ensures all data is confidential and secure.
- This system will seamlessly link with Provincial Health Information Systems to funnel positive test results to a single source for follow-up and contact tracing.