A Canadian PPE manufacturer has begun selling rapid COVID-19 antigen test kits to the public for a “significantly” lower price than competitors.
Ontario-based The Canadian Shield is offering testing kits in packs of five for $49.95, which the company claims is 40% less than other online retailers.
“With the rising number of COVID-19 outbreaks in schools and workplaces across the country, we recognized the need for more accessible and widespread testing,” said CEO Jeremy Hedges in a release.
“Due to regulatory issues, everyday Canadians are paying some of the highest prices in the world for rapid testing – we strongly believe that we can play a role in making that no longer the case.”
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Due to provincial guidance, the kits are currently only available in Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia.
The company expects rapid tests to become widely available in the future as other provinces “issue interim orders and change the regulatory landscape.”
The Canadian Shield said that while some province’s offer free rapid tests to businesses, the tests aren’t accessible to everyone.
“It’s important that other options are available to Canadians,” Hedges said.
Interested customers can purchase The Canadian Shield’s rapid antigen test kits through the company’s website. Several training documents must be reviewed prior to purchase.
The Health Canada-approved tests take 15 minutes to complete and detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus through a nasal swab.
The company noted that negative results should be treated as presumptive, and do not out a COVID-19 infection. Positive results should be verified through a PCR test.