Rapid COVID-19 test kits to be given to N.S. families with kids in pre-primary to Grade 6

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Children under the age of 12 aren't currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, so the pilot project aims to help provide additional protection to them. (Andrej Isakovic/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)
Children under the age of 12 aren't currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, so the pilot project aims to help provide additional protection to them. (Andrej Isakovic/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)

Nova Scotia announced a pilot project Wednesday that will see families with children in pre-primary to Grade 6 receive free COVID-19 rapid testing kits.

Children under the age of 12 aren't currently eligible to get vaccinated.

"These take-home tests are one way to provide families easier access to testing for children with symptoms and an added layer of protection on top of the core public health measures that exist in our schools," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Becky Druhan.

Kits will be distributed in the next few weeks through schools to families who want them. Each package will contain four tests.

In a statement, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said schools have not been a significant source of the spread of COVID-19 cases.

"However, by improving access to testing for children with symptoms, we have a better ability to detect a case early before they have the chance to potentially expose others to the virus in a school setting," he said.

Public Health wants families to use the test:

  • If a child has symptoms of COVID-19 and it is difficult for the family to get to a testing site, or

  • If a child has one mild symptom, doesn't need a lab-based PCR test and if parents/guardians are comfortable doing a shallow nose swab on their child.

At-home tests can be used on people three and older who have mild COVID-19 symptoms.

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