While many other provinces across the country have begun making rapid and PCR COVID-19 tests available for purchase, it appears that B.C. is a little behind, at least in the Northern region.
Lakes District News reached out to several pharmacies in the area, all of whom said there are none available for purchase for the public. According to the IDA Drug Store in Burns Lake, there are rapid tests at the location, but they’re only available for businesses who wish to buy them in bulk and administer them in-house.
Pharmasave in Burns Lake said that there could be some coming in the future, though nothing is definitive yet. “Some places have them available for businesses but we don’t offer that either. We haven’t been able to get any because right now the demand far outweighs the supply,” said Pharmasave Pharmacist Dennis Nawrocki.
“I hope we can get some within the next few weeks or months that will be available for public purchase, so things get a little more streamlined, but I have no official information about that as of now.”
The Pharmasave in Houston also has no rapid tests available right now, but says that they too have been in talks with the company about the possibility of getting them in the near future. Though like Burns Lake, nothing is confirmed. Wholesale Club in Burns Lake also has no tests available.
Omicron has swept the entire country, and rapid testing has become an essential tool in preventing spread of the virus due to the near-instant diagnosis.
As part of a Federal Government announcement recently, Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said 140 million tests will be distributed to provinces and territories on a per-capita basis this month.
According to one Shoppers Drug Mart in Prince George, there are rapid and PCR tests available for purchase at the location, but for most local residents, a five hour round-trip is not ideal. Regular COVID-19 testing is available at the Lakes District Hospital and Health Centre.
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