OTTAWA -- Ottawa Public Health and its local health partners are launching the largest asymptomatic testing blitz yet, as public health experts urge authorities to conduct more rapid testing to detect the spread of COVID-19.

Over the next two weekends, thousands of students, parents and families will be offered a COVID-19 rapid test by health authorities.

Coun. Carol Anne Meehan tweeted this week that a rapid testing clinic will be held Feb. 13-15 at Ecole secondaire catholique Pierre Savard for any student, staff and parents who attend school in Barrhaven.

On Feb. 20 and 21, OPH, in collaboration with CHEO and local health partners, will run a COVID-19 testing clinic at St. Patrick's High School.  The clinic will be for students, staff and families at the following schools:

  • Brookfield High School
  • Canterbury High School
  • Charles H. Hulse Public School
  • Clifford Bowey Public School
  • General Vanier Public School
  • Hawthorne Public School
  • Hillcrest High School
  • Ridgemont High School
  • Riverview Alternative School
  • Robert Bateman Public School
  • Vincent Massey Public School

A letter to parents says anyone associated with a school listed above can get tested—those with or without symptoms of COVID-19, and those who have or have not been exposed to COVID-19.

The test for individuals without any symptoms will be a rapid antigen test. Results will be available on the same day. If someone tests positive for COVID-19, you and your household contacts will be called to return for a laboratory-based test to confirm the rapid test result.

Ottawa Public Health conducted rapid testing Feb. 6-7 to identify any students with asymptomatic testing. Over the course of two days, 175 people were tested for COVID-19, including 48 students. There is no word on what schools were targeted during the testing clinic.

Public health says six of the 48 students tested positive for COVID-19.