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Saskatchewan expands access to COVID-19 rapid antigen tests

The Saskatchewan Government has amended some rules, making it so that rapid antigen tests can be used by businesses or individuals to help screen people who do not show COVID-19 symptoms.

Due to the new changes to the 1995 Medical Laboratory Licensing Regulations, a person or business wanting access to the tests no longer needs to make a formal arrangement with the Saskatchewan Health Authority. 

The tests, which are not diagnostic, can be used to test asymptomatic people. Small or medium businesses can apply to receive the testing kits on the Saskatchewan Government’s website and will be given them as supply allows.

The federally supplied tests will be bookmarked for health care professionals and priority settings such as long-term care facilities, personal care homes, schools, group homes and shelters, however. Larger businesses will apply to get the tests via Health Canada’s website.

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Individual people will also be able to buy the tests from retailers that stock them but are cautioned to make sure it’s a test approved by Health Canada before buying one.

Health Minister Paul Merriman says this opens up an easier way to procure the tests, which will help people having COVID-19 and not showing it get tested and treated quicker.

SHA testing chief SHA Testing Chief Carrie Dornstauder adds through the early and efficient testing these kits provide, it can mitigate a possible outbreak situation before it gets larger. 

If someone tests positive with the rapid antigen kit, they’re recommended to self-isolate and call 811 for further instructions, such as scheduling a confirmatory test through a SHA testing centre.

People can find how to use these tests or more details on the Saskatchewan Government’s website as well. 

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