An Ontario-based PPE manufacturer has begun selling rapid COVID-19 antigen test kits to the public for a “significantly” lower price than competitors.
Waterloo’s 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.”
- You might also like:
- No deaths reported as Ontario logs 443 new COVID-19 cases
- Where to get a PCR COVID-19 test in Toronto
- US will accept travellers with mixed COVID-19 vaccine doses: CDC
Due to provincial guidance, the kits are only available in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. The company expects rapid tests to become widely available in the future as other provinces “issue interim orders and change the regulatory landscape.”
In Ontario, the provincial government supplies businesses with free rapid tests in an effort to limit workplace outbreaks.
“While these programs are important, they aren’t accessible to everyone and 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.