Ontario Is Expanding The Use Of Rapid Antigen Testing & Here's What You Need To Know

There are three recommended reasons to use a rapid test.

Ontario Editor
Ontario Is Expanding The Use Of Rapid Antigen Testing & Here's What You Need To Know

The provincial government has announced that they are expanding the use of rapid COVID-19 antigen testing in Ontario as the Omicron variant continues to spread.

In documents shared with Narcity on Thursday, the government stated that rapid tests are now being recommended for three specific scenarios: for "test-to-work" purposes in high-risk settings, for screening purposes in people without symptoms, and for people with symptoms.

At the moment, the distribution of rapid tests is currently being prioritized in high-priority settings, such as long-term care homes, hospitals and shelters.

For those without symptoms, frequent rapid testing can be used to help identify people who may have COVID-19, but are asymptomatic. This includes health care workers or employees in other high-risk settings where unvaccinated staff are required to take rapid tests at least twice weekly.

However, the government does not recommend asymptomatic people use these tests for one-time testing, such as before a social event, due to "the risk of false negatives."

Those who have symptoms are also able to use rapid tests. If you test positive, you and your entire household must self-isolate.

If two tests come back negative (separated by 24 to 48 hours), the government is still asking symptomatic residents to self-isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours.

The government states that if you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you do not need to confirm the result with a PCR test or report to public health.

As more tests become available to the province, Ontario states that they will work to make them available for more residents.

Ontario has received 55.7 million rapid antigen tests to date and has deployed 54.3 million so far.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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