Federal government distributing more rapid tests

Medic hands in gloves holding positive covid-19 test, rapid test kit for diagnosis coronavirus infection. © Can Stock Photo / vitaliymateha

The federal government is distributing another 140-million rapid tests to provinces and territories this month.

Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced the government had procured the tests and they are being distributed immediately to provinces and territories on a per capita basis.

“The provinces will make determinations and hopefully they will learn from each other and share best practices in terms of what is working well in one place or another. But we expect the provinces and territories to be there to distribute these rapid tests, that we are procuring by the hundreds of millions, to citizens to help us get through this wave of Omicron as best as we possibly can,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In December, the federal government distributed around 35 million tests. Ontario distributed its share at shopping centres and LCBOs throughout the province, particularly in the GTA area.

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam indicated the rapid tests can be an important tool to prevent the spread of the virus but they are not perfect.

“Some of the rapid tests will detect the Omicron variant. The difficulty with this particular virus is just how quickly people will develop the infection post-exposure. Things can shift really fast so one just has to remember that if you tested negative in the morning that doesn’t mean that you may not test negative later on,” said Tam.