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HomeNewsCOVID-19 rapid tests unavailable at local pharmacies

COVID-19 rapid tests unavailable at local pharmacies

Residents looking for COVID-19 rapid tests could be out of luck for sometime in the Smithers area.

Pharmacies within the area say they currently do not have any for purchase and are unsure when rapid tests will become available.

The Shoppers Drug Mart in Smithers said they have not received any tests by the province but it is expected that they will get some by the Federal government for small and medium sized businesses.

Meanwhile, Northern Health Spokesperson Eryn Collins said as of right now rapid tests are only available through testing centres by requesting a test through the virtual clinic or online testing form.

“They will be referred to a testing centre for either PCR testing or for a rapid test kit to take home, so this is different from anybody potentially being able to source rapid antigen tests on their own from stores or private suppliers,” she said.

Collins also said the testing capacity has had a lot of demand.

“This is to preserve the PCR testing for those highest risk groups, people who are at higher risk of serious illness or hospitalization as well as people who identify with a high risk setting,” she said.

Collins added it is unknown if rapid tests will be available for pharmacies in the future.

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