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People wait in line at a walk-in PCR COVID-19 test site in Toronto on Dec. 22, 2021.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

With COVID-19 indicators rising in Ontario, opposition politicians are calling on the government to expand access to PCR tests for the virus.

Critics have been calling for Ontario to reinstate broad access to the gold-standard tests, which have been restricted to certain groups of high-risk people since December when the Omicron variant overwhelmed resources.

Those calls continued on Wednesday as some suggested the province was entering a sixth wave of cases after a lull following the peak of the Omicron wave.

Liberal House Leader John Fraser said “a sixth wave is upon us” and therefore the government should broaden access to the tests, a call echoed by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

Green Leader Mike Schreiner called on the government to keep offering rapid antigen COVID-19 tests for free at pharmacies and grocery stores next week.

A program offering tests at those sites was set to run for at least eight weeks when it was introduced in February, and a spokeswoman for the health minister says the province is considering whether to keep it running.

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