Saskatchewan

Some Sask. students to receive COVID self-testing kits

As students throughout Saskatchewan return to in-person learning this week, the Ministry of Health is launching a new pilot program to help keep them safe from COVID-19. 
An Abbott Laboratories Panbio COVID-19 Rapid Test device is displayed at a pop-up COVID-19 testing site on the Dalhousie University campus in Halifax on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2020. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

As students throughout Saskatchewan return to in-person learning this week, the Ministry of Health is launching a new pilot program to help keep them safe from COVID-19.

According to the ministry, families with children under the age of 12 enrolled in certain schools will be receiving COVID-19 self-testing rapid antigen kits.

These kits can deliver results in 15 minutes and can identify asymptomatic cases, though a positive rapid test does need to be validated by a lab-based test. 

The ministry said it hopes this will help curb the spread of COVID-19 among people too young to be vaccinated. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 14,000 children and teenagers in Saskatchewan have contracted COVID-19.

The included schools are yet to be decided. Initially, they will be chosen by the ministry, school divisions and medical health officers based on factors including vaccine coverage and school outbreaks. 

More schools will be added to the program over time. 

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