With the delivery of 2.6 million rapid antigen test kits, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will expand delivery to make a supply available to the general public including First Nations communities to support asymptomatic COVID-19 surveillance.
Routine, voluntary testing at home will help prevent asymptomatic transmission to those who are not able to be vaccinated and will reduce COVID-19 transmission in the community.
Test to Protect – General Public
More than 1.3 million of these kits will be distributed free to the general public starting the week of October 18th through participating fire halls, local chambers of commerce, and SHA testing and assessment centres.
In addition, more than 360,000 tests will be provided to First Nations communities across the province through a provincial allocation to Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). This secures a supply for ISC to support COVID-19 surveillance, in the absence of a predictable supply directly from the federal allocation.
A list of these locations is available at Saskatchewan.ca/covid-19 and will be updated as kits are delivered and available and as new sites participate.
Note that these testing kits do not come individually packaged but are in bundles so kits will be distributed quickly. Availability will be based on the locations’ hours of operation and supply. Self-testing kits will be available first come, first served with one kit per household at this time.
The province of Saskatchewan has increased its request to the federal government from one million to four million test kits per month in order to support demand.
Test to Protect – Distribution to Congregate Settings, Schools
Schools will receive a new supply of 720,000 tests, and the remainder of the supply will be allocated to other areas of the SHA’s Test to Protect Program including congregate living facilities (long-term care, personal care homes, correctional facilities, shelters, group homes), and to healthcare workers and businesses that are registered with the SHA for a workplace surveillance program.
Self-testing (rapid antigen testing) is an additional asymptomatic surveillance tool, and is not a substitute for COVID-19 vaccination
Self-tests are an effective screening tool and are intended for those who do not have COVID-19 related symptoms (asymptomatic). If you have COVID-19 symptoms or if your self-test is positive, seek a lab PCR test through an SHA testing site or call HealthLine 811 to arrange for a test.
Self-tests distributed for the purpose of workplace or asymptomatic surveillance will not be accepted for the negative test requirement, as part of the proof of vaccination or negative test result policy. Those negative test results must be purchased from an approved provider listed at Saskatchewan.ca/covid-19.
Providers who wish to be approved for providing COVID-19 testing for the negative test requirement and be listed on the Government of Saskatchewan website can apply, following the new process outlined at Saskatchewan.ca/covid-19.
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