NL makes rapid COVID-19 tests widely available for the first time since the pandemic

ST. JOHN’S, NL — Newfoundland and Labrador health officials are making COVID-19 rapid tests widely and free available to the public for the first time since the pandemic began. Chief Medical Officer Dr.

ST. JOHN’S, NL — Newfoundland and Labrador health officials are making COVID-19 rapid tests widely and free available to the public for the first time since the pandemic began.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Janice Fitzgerald told reporters today authorities would send two test kits to every family in the province.

Test kits will also be available at provincial libraries and MPs’ constituency offices.

Previously, the province distributed test kits to families with school-aged children.

Otherwise, residents had to buy rapid test kits from pharmacies and drugstores, often for more than $20 each.

Fitzgerald says making rapid tests available to everyone will allow people to make better decisions about their risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

Meanwhile, the province is not seeing the early onset of flu season or the high respiratory virus cases reported in other provinces like Ontario and Quebec, she said.

That could change, Fitzgerald said, and she urged residents to get their COVID-19 and flu shots. Masks are still recommended and residents should wear them if they think they are at risk of being exposed to a respiratory infection, she said.

“The recommendation may get stronger over time and as we see changes,” Fitzgerald said, adding that she doesn’t think current levels of respiratory disease in the province warrant another mask mandate.

“Before you start infringing on people’s rights, you have to have the evidence to back it up and that there really is no other way to mitigate that risk,” she said.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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