At long last, British Columbians will have access to rapid tests through local pharmacies.
As of Friday (Feb. 25), pharmacies across the province will be distributing one kit of rapid tests per person aged 70 and over. Each kit comes with five tests. Individuals wanting to get a kit must show their B.C. Services Card to receive them. The kits will be distributed for free. There is a limit of one kit per person within a 28-day period.
People can pick up rapid tests on behalf of a family member, however, they must provide the name, date of birth and B.C. Services Card of the individual they are picking up a kit for.
Dr. Bonnie Henry recommends using rapid tests when people have symptoms.
The province says more than 865,000 have already been pre-positioned to pharmacy distributors. As supply and distribution grow, the program will expand to younger people. The province expects this to happen quickly but has not provided a timeline.
B.C. has received 22,242,902 rapid tests so far and deployed 14,843,222 with 7,399,683 left in inventory. Over the next four weeks, the province expects to receive 12 million tests, with three million arriving each week.
Millions of rapid tests have been distributed to rural and remote communities, K-12 and post-secondary schools, long-term care and assisted living facilities, health care settings and testing facilities across B.C. Some of the rapid tests in the province’s inventory are not suitable for at-home use.