Public Health in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph will begin participating in Ontario’s new rapid COVID-19 testing program for students starting next week.
With the rapid testing program, local public health units will be able to set up antigen test kits to schools who are at high risk of COVID-19. This program, announced by the provincial government earlier this week, is due to an increase in COVID-19 outbreaks and a prevalence of the virus in the surrounding communities.
These rapid tests will be used for unvaccinated students without COVID-19 symptoms or children who aren’t high-risk contacts. Those with COVID-19 symptoms or who have been identified as a high-risk contact should have a PCR test available at COVID-19 testing sites.
According to Communitech, their volunteers made a mistake after supplying the test kits to groups that are not considered small businesses. The organization is one of many agencies across Canada who are running a StaySafe program by supplying free test kits.
Communitech and the StaySafe program have been distributing the tests on behalf of local chambers of commerce and all three levels of government. Local parents had organized a pop-up testing site in Waterloo with an aim to give parents extra peace of mind as their kids, who are ineligible to be vaccinated, are going to school. However, the Ontario government said the rapid kits should not be going to parents and should be given to small businesses.
All orders to Communitech made before 2:30 p.m. this Wednesday would be filled. After that, each order will need to be reviewed to ensure they are for business use only.
As of Oct. 6, Waterloo health officials haveconfirmed 19,735 total cases of COVID-19, and approximately 128 cases are considered active in the Region. Last Sunday, Waterloo Region health officials reported one new COVID-19 related death, bringing the region’s total throughout the pandemic to 300.