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New COVID-19 testing methods could come to Alberta: Hinshaw

British Columbia is introducing a new gargle, rinse and spit method to test for COVID-19 among school children. PHOTO PROVINCIAL HEALTH SERVICES AUTHORITY.
British Columbia is introducing a new gargle, rinse and spit method to test for COVID-19 among school children. Photo by B.C. PROVINCIAL HEALTH SERVICES AUTHORITY.

Alberta public-health officials are looking into new, less invasive COVID-19 testing methods, the province’s top doctor said Friday.

Through the pandemic, Alberta Public Laboratory staff have primarily used nasopharyngeal and throat swabs to collect testing specimens from the back of the throat and nose.

But Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed at a Friday news conference the province was examining new testing methods, specifically for use with children in schools.

“We are working with our lab to look at options such as a mouth-rise and self-saliva sample, but there are different elements that need to be put in place before we can use it broadly,” Hinshaw said.

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France reports new daily record in COVID-19 cases

A medical staff member prepares to collect a sample from a man and his daughter at a COVID-19 testing centre set up in the European Parliament on May 12, 2020, in Strasbourg, eastern France. Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images

France reported 13,498 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the previous 24 hours, setting another record in daily additional infections since the start of the epidemic.

The new cases pushed the cumulative total to 442,194 as the seven-day moving average of daily new infections rose to more than 9,700, compared with a low of 272 at the end of May, two weeks after the lockdown was lifted.

A faster circulation of the virus and a six-fold increase in testing since the government made it free are the two main reasons for the scale of the increase, epidemiologists have said.

The number of people in France who have died from COVID-19 was up by 26 on Saturday at 31,274, a growth significantly lower than registered the previous day.

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