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Surrey students begin receiving rapid COVID tests

One box of five test kits will be provided to each student, district says
A file photo of a rapid test ket is shown here. (PHOTO BY FRANK GUNN/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Surrey school district says the Ministry of Education has started shipping rapid antigen tests kits to school districts to distribute to students.

According to the district, each student will be provided with one box of five rapid COVID-19 antigen tests kits for their family’s use. A release adds the kits will be distributed by the student’s school and parents or guardians of elementary students are required to pick the kits up at the school.

On Feb. 1, the Ministry of Education announced that 300,000 rapid test kits would be delivered in phases.

Rural schools were were the first to get the rapid test kits.

READ ALSO: B.C.’s rural schools first for COVID-19 rapid testing for students, Feb. 1, 2022

READ ALSO: COVID-19 rapid tests to be distributed to B.C. students, at-risk public, Feb. 16, 2022

Those kits were in addition to the more than 200,000 that were shipped in mid-January for school staff.

The district says the kits should be used if students or their family members have any of the following symptoms: fever or chills, difficulty breathing, runny nose, headache, diarrhea, cough, sore throat, body aches, loss of sense of smell or taste, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue or tiredness or nausea or vomiting.

For information on how to use the tests, visit and search “rapid testing at home.”

However, Health Canada recently put out a public advisory that rapid antigen test kits could lead to “potential exposure to hazardous substances.”

Many test kits, according to Health Canada, include a liquid solution with chemical preservatives that “may be poisonous if swallowed or absorbed through the skin, particularly in children and pets.”

The advisory notes that while test kits are used as intended, they are “safe and effective,” but there are potential risks “associated with the misuse or accidental ingestion or spillage of COVID-19 rapid antigen test kit solutions on the skin.”

Health Canada adds it’s aware of about 50 calls made to poison centres in the country related to accidental exposure, which have “resulted in minor health outcomes.”

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Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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