VICTORIA, B.C. – The province announced Wednesday that B.C. residents aged 70 or older will soon be able to get free COVID-19 rapid tests at community pharmacies.
Beginning as early as Friday, February 25th, 2022, seniors can pick up one kit containing five tests every 28 days from participating pharmacies at no cost.
When picking up the kits, individuals must present their personal health number, said the province.
If someone is picking up kits on another person’s behalf, they must supply that person’s name, personal health number, and date of birth.
Rapid tests will be shipped out this week to community pharmacies across the province, through a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and the B.C. Pharmacy Association.
“Community pharmacies have played an important role in supporting people in B.C. throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by providing vaccinations and now distributing rapid tests,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
“Our expanded test availability means more people will be able to access rapid tests to use to understand their own symptoms and illness and to take action to limit transmission to their friends, family and work.”
The province says people should pick up their kits when they are asymptomatic and use one test at a time when they have symptoms. Guidelines for testing continue to indicate tests should be used for symptomatic individuals, said the ministry.
The province also announced the launch of a new online assessment tool and virtual service on Wednesday for residents to see if they could receive and benefit from COVID-19 anti-viral treatments.
Two treatments have been approved for those with confirmed cases of COVID-19 who are not in the hospital but are at high risk: Sotrovimab, which must be given through an infusion and requires a visit to a clinic or hospital; and Paxlovid, a course of anti-viral pills that can be taken at home.
These treatments are available to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, those over 60 that are not fully vaccinated and have one or more chronic conditions, and those over 60 who are not fully vaccinated and are Indigenous.
British Columbians can find out if these treatments are right for them by following the four-step process available online through the new online service.
Find out if treatments are available to you at gov.bc.ca/covidtreatments