Demand for rapid tests exceeds availability in P.E.I. as case count grows
“At a time when COVID-19 testing facilities are at full capacity, exposure sites are numerous and the latest variant has brought holiday plans to a halt, our best strategy to control the spread is testing and isolation. Unfortunately, rapid antigen kits are not broadly available for individuals in the province who want them,” says Liberal Health Critic Robert Henderson.
Programs are available for businesses to request test kits from government agencies and adults with young children were able to receive tests at their children’s schools before they closed for the holidays. There are also rapid tests available for travelers, but no program exists for the general public. There have been limited supplies available at Access PEI sites across the province but those are intended for the use of parents and children.
“Other provinces such as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have made rapid tests readily available by distributing them through public libraries, pharmacies, civic centres, arenas and mobile distribution sites. Prince Edward Island is lacking in this most basic defense,” advises Henderson.
“The testing centers are working with reduced hours over the holidays and will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Without adequate testing we have the perfect storm. We are calling on this government to coordinate its resources to distribute rapid tests to citizens immediately in order to slow the spread of this variant and take those who are asymptomatic out of the lineups at our overwhelmed testing centers,” says Henderson.