Rapid testing

To reduce the risk of outbreaks, rapid tests for COVID-19 antigens are now available to the general public at no cost. They are available in most pharmacies.

Advantages and limitations

Rapid tests:

  • Make results available within minutes (time varies by test)
  • Are useful for quickly identifying infected individuals
  • Are easy to use by anyone
  • Can give false positive results in people who are not infected or false negative results in infected people.

Precision

Healthcare workers who cannot use the rapid tests offered in pharmacies when they need a screening test for work (for example: a worker with COVID-19 symptoms or subject to the mandatory testing directive). They must follow the directives in their workplace.

Steps for the rapid screening test

What you need

In each kit, the parent will find:

  • an information sheet;
  • a quick step-by-step instruction guide;
  • a tube stand;
  • the test cassettes;
  • the capsules of buffer solution (vial of liquid);
  • the tubes and their caps;
  • the swabs for nasal specimen collection.

The parent will also need a timer or a stopwatch because it is not included in the kit. This is a tool that is often available on a cellphone or a watch.

Interpreting the result

Only the result visible in the window 15 to 20 minutes after the start of the test is valid.

Reading the result

Two lines are used to read the result:

  1. the control line, which is C;
  2. the test line, which is T;

Positive

The result is positive when line C and line T appear in the window. The order in which the lines appear is not important and even if a line is pale, the result indicated is accurate.

Negative

The result is negative when only line C appears in the window.

Invalid

The result is invalid if line C is not visible in the window.

When to use a rapid test

Person with symptoms

A person with symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 should use a rapid test as soon as possible.

Due to an increase in the number of infections, PCR testing at the screening clinic is now reserved for certain higher priority clients. If you are a higher priority client, you don’t have to do a rapid test at home if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

  • If the result is positive, you should isolate yourself and, if you are a higher priority client, make an appointment at a screening test centre This hyperlink will open in a new window.. If you are not a priority client, you should isolate yourself and follow the Instructions for people with COVID-19.
  • If the result is negative, you should isolate yourself, monitor your symptoms, and do a second rapid test 24 hours later.
  • If the result is invalid, you must immediately take another sample and test using new materials.

After the second rapid test:

  • If the result is positive, you should isolate yourself and, if you are a higher priority client, make an appointment at a screening test centre This hyperlink will open in a new window.. If you are not a priority client, you should isolate yourself and follow the Instructions for people with COVID-19.
  • If the result is negative and symptoms persist or worsen, use the self-assessment tool This hyperlink will open in a new window. or consult a healthcare professional as needed.
  • If the result is still negative and symptoms diminish, you can resume your activities while following the basic health instructions.
  • If the result is invalid, you must immediately take another sample and test using new materials.

Person who does not have symptoms

You should not use a rapid test if you have no symptoms.

Managing waste from the tests

The waste generated by the rapid testing is not considered biomedical waste. Therefore, everything can be thrown in the garbage.