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Ontario Reportedly Gave Rapid Antigen Tests To Private Schools & Not Public Schools

School is now back in session in Ontario, and so is in-person learning.

According to a report from CP24 published September 10, some of Toronto's private schools will be able to get frequent asymptomatic rapid antigen COVID-19 testing, which will be paid for with public funds. This is not available to public schools.

Spokespersons from three different private schools told CP24 that these rapid antigen COVID-19 tests will be administered several times a week to both staff and students as a way to quickly detect infection in order to stop any outbreaks from happening.

"Our approach is based on science-based best practices and employs multiple tools to ensure students and staff are as safe as possible," a spokesperson from the University of Toronto Schools told Narcity via email. At the University of Toronto Schools, students and staff (no matter their vaxx status) will reportedly be required to administer take-home rapid antigen testing kits three days of the week and upload results before going to school.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce spoke with CP24 on the inequality of access to rapid antigen tests and said that Dr. Kieran Moore, the Chief Medical Officer of Health, said this kind of program wasn't necessary.

"[He] hasn't recommended rapid tests for all children, given that there would need to be two million per day, and also given the concern of a high rate of false positives," Lecce told the publication on Wednesday.

When CP24 asked why private schools received the free tests but public schools haven't had the same access yet, a spokesperson for Lecce told the publication that the ministry would send the rapid testing kits to those schools and to childcare centres.

Narcity reached out to the Ministry of Education, the Toronto District School Board, and various private schools for comment, but did not hear back before this article was published.

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

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