The provincial government will make rapid antigen tests available for free through participating pharmacies starting Friday, but they will only be available at first to those ages 70 and up.
“We started using rapid tests to protect those most vulnerable in our province, including those in long-term care, and now that we have at-home rapid tests available, we are expanding that strategy,” Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said in a news release.
“This will allow people to quickly test for COVID-19 when they have symptoms so they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the BC Pharmacy Association, is shipping COVID-19 rapid tests to community pharmacies throughout the province.
If you are 70 or older, you can pick up one kit containing five tests every 28 days. You must present your personal health number when picking up the kit or, if others are picking up kits on your behalf, in addition to your name and personal health number, date of birth must also be supplied.
“Community pharmacies have played an important role in supporting people in B.C. throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by providing vaccinations and now distributing rapid tests,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said in the release.
“Our expanded test availability means more people will be able to access rapid tests to use to understand their own symptoms and illness and to take action to limit transmission to their friends, family and work.”
Dix said over 865,000 test kits are already in the hands of a distributor, with millions more on the way in the coming weeks.