THE GLOBE AND MAIL | Canada’s immunity task force takes aim at pressing COVID-19 questions

Published: 4 May 2020

After one week on the job, members of the federal government’s new immunity task force say they are coming to grips with a towering wall of uncertainty that obscures the true extent of COVID-19 in Canada.

Catherine Hankins, a professor of public and population health at Montreal’s McGill University who co-chairs the task force, said that a limiting step in measuring the extent of immunity to the coronavirus within Canada has been determining which serological tests are sensitive and reliable enough to provide good data. In its first week, an important first priority for the task force has been working with the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg to validate the performance of tests and to set standards for research teams deploying tests across the country. “The sooner we can have a good solid test with very high sensitivity and high specificity [to the virus], the sooner we can move forward," Dr. Hankins said.

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