LCBO says it's run out of COVID-19 rapid test kits, the same day it started supplying them

·2 min read
LCBO stores have run out of COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits after select stores began supplying them on Friday but the organization says it will keep Ontarians updated if it receives more. (Colin Butler/CBC - image credit)
LCBO stores have run out of COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits after select stores began supplying them on Friday but the organization says it will keep Ontarians updated if it receives more. (Colin Butler/CBC - image credit)

The LCBO says it has already run out of COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits after select stores across Ontario began to give them out on a first-come, first-serve basis on Friday.

"Our supply of COVID-19 rapid test kits has run out. Thanks for your patience & understanding. We'll post if we receive more," the LCBO said in a tweet Friday evening.

The organization said Friday morning it didn't know exact arrival times for specific stores, and expected "limited" supply to be scooped up fast.

At a news conference Friday, Premier Doug Ford said the province is pushing out the rapid tests as fast as it can.

"I want to apologize to the people in line, they disappeared like rapid fire," he said.

Ford said the province is set to get 10 million more rapid tests on Dec. 27 and added he's calling on the federal government to procure more.

Here's a list of other pop-up sites offering rapid test kits.

Long lines at pop-up sites

The LCBO's message comes as Ontarians jumped into long lines, hoping to snag rapid tests with the holiday season on the horizon and COVID-19 cases surging at a speed previously unseen during the pandemic, fuelled by the Omicron variant.

"We thank our customers for their patience and understanding," the LCBO said in a statement.

"Our staff will be doing their best to share updates with anyone waiting and distribute kits on arrival. Store signage is being used at front doors to indicate if a store has kits, does not have kits, or expecting kits."

By 11:15 a.m., the LCBO had tweeted that several stores in the GTA were already out of stock.

Ottawa Public Health said on Twitter Friday that no tests are available at LCBOs in that city at all today due to delays. "The province of Ontario is leading this initiative and we are asking them to resolve issues as soon as possible," the tweet said.

Ontario reported 3,124 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the most in more than seven months and a 115 per cent increase over the same time last week.

Colin Butler/CBC
Colin Butler/CBC

The seven-day average of daily cases has climbed to 1,914, which is a 72 per cent jump over last Friday. The metric is on pace to double every 10 days or so.

The updated figures come after Ontario's COVID science table said Thursday that the highly-infectious Omicron variant threatens to overwhelm hospitals in the coming weeks.

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