Up until the last week, many provinces had mostly been testing patients with COVID-19 who had persistent symptoms, including a cough, fever and shortness of breath. 

Now, some provinces and specific health units are allowing for tests to be done on asymptomatic people who feel fine but could potentially infect others despite not feeling unwell. 

But governments need to be more clear with the public about the availability of testing for everyone, why it may be more important for some, and have a clear, more targeted strategy about where to do the most testing, experts told Global News. 

Why asymptomatic people may need a test

Manitoba began testing people without symptoms last week and anyone can participate. Asymptomatic testing also became available on May 11 for Calgary residents who do not work from home.

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In Ontario, expanded testing protocols were announced this week. Premier Doug Ford announced on May 24 that anyone who is concerned that they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 can get a test, even if they have no symptoms. 

Ford said at a press conference that more people need to come to testing centres so that the province can hit their testing targets.

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