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Best defense is prevention, not testing: Region's top doctor

This comes as the premier calls on those without symptoms to get tested


On Sunday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford called on those without symptoms to get tested for COVID-19, saying they would not be turned away.

While that may be the case, local hospitals are still asking you to call ahead so that you don't get stuck in a crowded lineup of people.

Asymptomatic testing, however, isn't as effective as testing those with symptoms, according to our top doctor.

Waterloo Region's Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang explained last week that someone without symptoms could test negative, then contract the virus the very next day. 

Dr. Wang seemed a bit surprised by Ford's announcement.

"He provided that direction to the public, then I understand direction was provided to the assessment centres," she smiled. "Sometimes this information is coming directly from the Province, sometimes directly from the news. What I know is that the assessment centre leads have been working very hard, and continue to do so to follow the direciton of the Province." 

While testing is a good way of keeping track of the virus, Dr. Wang said that it isn't the best method of prevention.

"The best defence is actually to prevent the infection in the first place," she said. "The best thing for families to do would be to follow those public health recommendations in terms of social distancing, and not socializing with members outside of your household."

Despite Waterloo Region's numbers trending downwards, Dr. Wang calls the situation "precarious."

She noted that we could see the initial effects of reopening by the end of this week, or early next week.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have come in contact with someone who does, you're encouraged to call one of three local centres to get tested. You can click here for more information.