Failure to use rapid tests leaves B.C. behind other jurisdictions

Failure to use rapid tests leaves B.C. behind other jurisdictions

PRINCE GEORGE (December 15, 2021) – Following the federal government’s push to encourage provinces to ramp up rapid testing and that strategy lagging further behind in British Columbia than in other jurisdictions, the BC Liberals are reiterating their calls for increased public access to rapid COVID-19 tests.

“This NDP government has failed British Columbians. We’ve been calling for increased use of rapid tests for over a year now, and there has been no progress on getting rapid tests in the hands of families during 2021, let alone in time for this holiday season,” said Interim Leader of the Official Opposition Shirley Bond. “While they aren’t perfect, rapid tests should be considered an important part of pandemic protection for British Columbians, and we should be using every tool in the toolbox, including rapid tests and speeding up the delivery of booster shots, especially after the modelling that was provided yesterday outlining the increased risk as a result of the Omicron variant.”

Despite 80 million rapid tests being sent out to provinces and territories by the federal government, and today’s announcement of 180 million more coming soon, British Columbia has failed throughout the entire pandemic to take advantage of these tests in the way other jurisdictions have.

“Most British Columbians cannot understand, or accept, the unwillingness of the NDP government to use rapid tests as an additional layer of protection throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The result is increasing anxiety and frustration and that is why nearly 14,000 people have signed a petition calling on the government to make rapid tests available,” added Bond. “British Columbians have been asked to do everything possible to reduce the risk of transmission, it is time for the NDP government to do the same thing and use every tool available, including the use of rapid tests.”

To date, millions of rapid tests sent to B.C. from Ottawa remain in storage.





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