Rapid tests are being provided to School District 8 families. Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Rapid tests are being provided to School District 8 families. Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Nelson, Creston families first to be given COVID-19 rapid tests for school-aged children

The education ministry is sending the tests to School District 8

Nelson and Creston families with school-age children will be amongst the first scholastic families in the province to receive rapid antigen tests.

The B.C. Ministry of Education announced Feb. 1 it will be sending out 300,000 tests to school-aged children — kindergarten to Grade 12 — including one box of five tests to each family with a child attending school in School District 8.

Because SD8 is designated rural and remote by the province, it is one of 17 school districts in B.C. to receive rapid tests for K-12 students in phase one.

“This will ensure that communities that are further away from regional testing facilities have access to tests,” said Jennifer Whiteside, B.C. Minister of Education.

The Interior Health advised that the tests are intended to be administered at home by families and should only be used for students who are symptomatic.

Other neighbouring rural Kootenay/Boundary school districts — Arrow Lakes (SD10), Boundary (SD51) — are also targeted in phase one.

The rapid antigen tests can be used at home to find out if someone has COVID-19, said the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, with the results available in less than 20 minutes.

The rapid test device provides “direct and qualitative detection of the SARS-COV-2 viral nucleoprotein antigens from nasal and nasopharyngeal secretions,” within six days of onset COVID-19 symptoms.

Coronavirus