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B.C.’s rural schools first for COVID-19 rapid testing for students

Schools already screening staff, administrators for infection
The University of British Columbia has launched a 13-week COVID-19 rapid testing clinic for students and a select group of people living and working on campus. A file photo of a rapid test ket is shown here. PHOTO BY FRANK GUNN/THE CANADIAN PRESS

B.C. public health teams are expanding the use of rapid antigen tests for students with symptoms of COVID-19, starting with rural and remote schools.

More than 200,000 rapid test kits were shipped to B.C. schools in mid-January for screening of teachers, staff and administrators, as shipments of the tests began arriving from Health Canada. Another 300,000 tests have been allocated for screening students, Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside said Tuesday.

School districts will distribute the five-pack test kits for families of students who reside in rural and remote regions of B.C. “This will ensure that communities that are further away from regional testing facilities have access to tests. In the second phase of distribution, tests will be shipped for students aged five to 11 in school districts within the Northern and Interior health authorities,” the ministry said in a statement Feb. 1.


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