PEI

Rapid antigen test kits still available for Islanders

While fewer Islanders are now required to go to P.E.I.'s COVID-19 testing clinics following changes announced last week, people can still get rapid antigen tests at Access P.E.I. locations across the Island. 

1.7 million rapid tests received in 2022

Members of the public can pick up tests at Access P.E.I. locations across the province, with a limit of two kits per person, per visit. (Jane Robertson/CBC)

While fewer Islanders are now required to go to P.E.I.'s COVID-19 testing clinics following changes announced last week, people can still get rapid antigen tests at Access P.E.I. locations across the Island. 

Officials with the Chief Public Health Office say priority access to rapid antigen tests will be given to children and those who work with children as well as groups most vulnerable to COVID-19. Rapid tests will be provided to Access P.E.I. locations for members of the public as long as there are enough tests available for priority groups. 

There is a limit of two tests per person, per visit and most locations say there are currently tests available for pick up. 

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced immediate changes to eligibility for testing across the province last Tuesday. 

Close contacts must continue to monitor for symptoms and will only need a Day 4 test if they live or work in a high-risk setting including, nursing homes, corrections or First Nation communities. They should also isolate, Morrison said. 

Close contacts with no symptoms should monitor themselves, but will not need a Day 4 test. Symptomatic close contacts of positive cases do not need to seek testing and should assume they're positive. If a symptomatic household close contact believes there is another reason for their symptoms, they may seek testing.

1.7 million rapid tests received in 2022

So far this year, 1.7 million rapid antigen tests have been delivered to the province. 

  • January: 640,000 tests.
  • February: 500,000 tests. 
  • March: 590,000 tests.

Officials with the CPHO say children, youth and those who work with them will get priority access to rapid antigen tests, specifically school aged children, children in child-care settings and staff who currently need to test three times per week. According to the CPHO, that testing will continue until the end of March. 

Priority will also be given to those most vulnerable to severe outcomes from COVID-19, including residents and staff in long-term and community care facilities, who also do regular screening tests multiple times a week. 

Step 2 of easing restrictions 

P.E.I. will see further public health restrictions ease this Thursday as the province begins Step 2 of its plan. Starting on March 17, personal gathering limits will increase to 20 people indoors and 50 people outdoors and organized gatherings will move to 75 per cent of a venue's capacity. 

Fitness facilities, retail, casinos and museums will move to 75 per cent capacity and wedding and funeral receptions will be allowed with up to 100 people. 

Organized sports will be allowed to increase to a maximum of 100 participants per day of activity and those players need to be consistent. 

Screening at points of entry such as the airport and Confederation Bridge will continue, but will transition to random testing.

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