General News

COVID-19 rapid antigen kits now available at Health Unit

August 3, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Rapid antigen test kits (RAT) for COVID-19 are now available to the public for free from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

Although anyone can access a RAT kit, they are especially recommended for individuals who are at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. This includes people over age 60 and those with medical conditions or immuno-compromised, as there is an effective oral anti-viral medication against COVID-19 for those in higher-risk groups.

Previously, free RAT kits were available through some retailers and pharmacies in Ontario. However, due to the lower transmission rate of the virus, the province ended its distribution of the free kits to those locations on June 30. Instead, they have made them available through public health units.

Local retailers and pharmacies will continue to offer these free test kits to the public while their supply lasts.

Over the past several months, Simcoe Muskoka has experienced a decrease in reported and confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a decline in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths. The Community Risk Level has consistently remained at the ‘lower’ caution level.

During this period of lower rates, the health unit has adjusted the frequency of reporting on the state of the virus in the community from weekly to monthly.

Test kits can be picked up at all health unit offices during regular business hours while supplies last.

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