covid test ontario

It's finally about to get easier for some people in Ontario to get their hands on rapid tests

Rapid antigen COVID tests have been unreasonably difficult to acquire in Ontario as of late, with many people having to resort to the black market to purchase one of the limited number of kits distributed by the government for free through schools, pop-ups and select LCBO locations.

Now that the province has severely slashed eligibility for publicly-funded PCR testing amid record high levels of community spread, residents are seeking the tests more than ever, and after duking it out in winding lineups for rapid antigen kit giveaways that ran out before even beginning, the public is finally going to get better access to the much-needed tool.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team announced in a presser on Wednesday that they plan to get 140 millon more tests out to Canadians nationwide before the end of January — four times the amount requested by each provincial and territorial government, or four per person.

This is in addition to the 120 million tests already distributed in recent weeks.

The PM also went on to note that we now have enough booster vaccines in the country for every eligible adult, saying that "if you haven't yet gotten vaccinated for whatever reasons, know that there is a vaccine for you waiting at your local pharmacy or your local health centre."

By month's end, there will also be enough shots for all eligible children aged five to 11 in Canada to get their first two doses.

Trudeau clarified that each province's leadership will sort out how they will get tests to their constituents.

"Let's be honest, this isn't how anyone wanted to be starting 2022. I can understand that people are frustrated, people are tired... I think everyone was hoping that we would be into a better place by now and yet here we find ourselves again, with many parts of the country in lockdowns," Trudeau commiserated.

"But I also know that we know how to get through this... you know what we need to do... We have to hunker down, we have to pull together, and it gets better in a few months. We're looking at a better spring as long as we all keep doing our part."

Unfortunately, since the federal government's announcement, Ontario officials have clarified that like PCR tests, rapid antigen tests will be reserved only for the highest-risk settings, such as healthcare.

Lead photo by

Becky Robertson

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