1.3M COVID-19 self-test kits to be distributed for use across Sask.

image.jpeg

More than 1.3 million kits will be distributed to the general public across Saskatchewan starting the week of Oct. 18, through participating fire halls, local chambers of commerce, and Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) testing and assessment centres.

After receiving 2.6 million rapid antigen test kits, the SHA is offering parts of the supply to the general public including First Nations communities to support asymptomatic COVID-19 monitoring.

More than 360,000 tests will be provided to First Nations communities across the province through a provincial allocation to Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).

Schools will receive a new supply of 720,000 tests, with the remainder of the supply being allocated to other areas of the SHA's Test to Protect Program, including long-term and personal care homes, correctional facilities, shelters, along with healthcare workers and businesses that are registered for a workplace surveillance program.

A list of participating locations is available on the province's website and will be updated as kits are delivered and become available.

The testing kits do not come individually packaged but instead, are in bundles, so they will be distributed quickly.

Saskatchewan has increased its request to the federal government from one million to four million test kits per month in order to support demand.

The kits will be available first come, first served with one kit per household at this time.

Availability will be based on the locations' hours of operation and supply.

The SHA is reminding residents these tests are for those who do not have COVID-19 related symptoms, but are not a substitute for COVID-19 vaccination.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or if the self-test is positive, the SHA requires you to seek a lab PCR test through an SHA testing site or call HealthLine 811 to arrange for a test.

Self-tests will not be accepted for the negative test requirement for workplaces or asymptomatic monitoring, instead negative test results must come from an approved provider.

The province hopes routine, voluntary testing at home will help prevent asymptomatic transmission to those who are not able to get vaccinated and will reduce transmission in the community.