NDP worried about Ontario's plans to allow pharmacies to test people with COVID symptoms

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The provincial NDP is raising safety concerns with the Ford government's plan to allow Ontario pharmacies to start offering COVID-19 tests for symptomatic people.

Ahead of an upcoming announcement, a senior government source said pharmacies that opt in will soon be able to offer PCR swab tests for people with symptoms and for high-risk contacts of people with COVID-19.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on Ford to pause the new program until the associated risks and safety protocols can be clarified.

In a statement, she said pharmacies need to be safe for seniors, immunocompromised people and parents with unvaccinated children, who all -- quote -- ``need and deserve to get their prescriptions without extra fear of being exposed to the virus.''