Saskatchewan is planning to increase public access to COVID-19 self-tests as they work to utilize SHA resources to symptomatic or outbreak COVID cases.
The province says they are set to receive one million rapid antigen tests and may buy more Health Canada-approved rapid tests pending validation at the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory.
It is anticipated that the general public will have access to these tests in several places, such as:
- Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency bases
- Municipal and First Nations’ fire halls
- Select Saskatchewan Health Authority locations on a schedule to be determined and announced on the province’s COVID-19 website.
The Saskatchewan Government also says they’ll be looking at more public partnerships to distribute the tests across the province.
Province expanding school-based distribution of testing kits
The Saskatchewan government has recently provided 475,000 tests to Saskatchewan elementary schools, as an expansion of the self-test at home pilot throughout the province.
As of October 4th, anyone who has a child 11 years old and under attending school, they can get in touch with their school to get home self-testing kits for household use. Schools will be sending more information out with these young students.
SHA to move resources to symptomatic people, largely ending public testing for asymptomatic people
The SHA says with this increase in self-testing options for asymptomatic COVID-19 surveillance, they’ll be shifting their focus to other priority groups, including:
- Individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Individuals with a positive rapid antigen self-test result
- Close contacts to a positive COVID-19 case
- Persons identified in an outbreak situation, as ordered by the MHO
- Immunocompromised residents including those on chemotherapy and hemodialysis
- Individuals who require transfer or admission to long-term care, personal-care home, social services care and acute care facilities
- Staff or students in an educational institution
Any self-test that brings back a positive result will need to be confirmed by an SHA test. Preserving laboratory testing for symptomatic and confirmatory COVID-19 testing will allow people to access their results in a more timely fashion while making sure people can get to self-isolation or day-to-day activities quicker.