VICTORIA — Staff in government-funded child-care centres are soon expected to have access to rapid antigen tests provided by the province.

The Children’s Ministry says up to 250,000 tests will be sent to government-funded child-care facilities throughout the province for use by employees with symptoms of COVID-19.

It says the Health Ministry and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry are directing how rapid antigen tests are best used as part of the province’s pandemic response. 

The Children’s Ministry says additional information about when the tests are expected to arrive will be provided to child-care facilities in the coming days as logistics are confirmed.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix have been encouraging more parents to get their children between the ages of five and 11 vaccinated to prevent illness, which in rare cases could lead to serious complications.

The province has recorded 21 more deaths, for an overall total of 2,575 fatalities.

It says another 2,086 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed but that number is expected to be verified when all the data is available.

The Health Ministry also says 949 people are in hospital and 136 of them are in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2022.

The Canadian Press