Hospital Union not sold on COVID-19 testing at Ontario pharmacies


A union that represents Ontario's hospital workers says it's concerned about the safety of the province's plan to expand COVID-19 testing to pharmacies.

The president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions says the move could bring people with the virus in contact with vulnerable seniors who are shopping or filling prescriptions.

Michael Hurley says expanding current assessment centres, which are staffed by doctors and nurses trained in infection control measures, would be a better option.

Premier Doug Ford said Friday the province was working to expand testing to pharmacies by the end of next week to help address long lineups at some centres.

The chair of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, meanwhile, says members of that group are ready to help expand safe access to testing of asymptomatic individuals.

Jen Baker says pharmacies will complete advance screenings to ensure symptomatic people are referred to assessment centres run by hospitals.