CORNWALL, ON – As of Wednesday, Feb 9, Ontario has announced its plan to distribute five million free COVID-19 rapid test kits each week for eight weeks.
Following the distribution of rapid test kits, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is providing a Guidance on the Use of Rapid Antigen Tests.
According to the EOHU, rapid antigen tests are recommended for people with symptoms. If you are symptomatic:
- A positive rapid antigen test is highly indicative that you have COVID-19, and you and your household are required to self-isolate, in accordance with guidance. A confirmatory PCR test or any follow-up testing is not necessary after a positive rapid antigen test. The individual should also reach non-household contacts by providing them with the link to Ontario.ca/exposed.
- A negative rapid antigen test does not rule out COVID-19. Repeat the test 24-48 hours later. If two consecutive rapid antigen tests, separated by 24-48 hours, are both negative, it is less likely that you are infected with COVID-19, and you are advised to self-isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms).
It’s important to not use rapid antigen tests for one-off testing (e.g., before a social event) by people who are asymptomatic, and without known exposure to someone with COVID-19, as a negative result could be a false negative.
The following locations in Cornwall will be distributing tests kits:
Baxtrom’s Your Independent Grocer Drug Store, 31 Ninth St. E.
Food Basics, 1315 Second St. E.
Food Basics, 960 Brookdale Ave.
Medical Arts Pharmacy, 30 Thirteenth St. E.
Medical Arts Pharmacy — Rx, 173 Montreal Rd.
Rx Drug Mart-Fullerton Drug Rx, 114-820 Mcconnell Ave.
Rx Drug Mart-Fullerton Drug Rx, 170 Pitt St.
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1380 Second St. E.
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1236 Brookdale Ave,
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1 Water St. E.
Sydney’s Drug Mart, 8-841 Sydney St.
Walmart, 420 Ninth St. W.
Furthermore, rapid antigen tests are less sensitive for Omicron, compared to Delta in nasal samples, especially in the first 1-2 days after infection. Regardless, the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table recommends that rapid antigen tests can be more reliable in detecting infectious cases of Omicron in combined oral-nasal samples.