Learn about rapid antigen testing and find out if your organization is eligible to access free rapid antigen tests from the government.
The Provincial Antigen Screening Program (PASP) provides free rapid antigen tests to high-risk communities, organizations and workplaces. Check your eligibility and apply below.
The program is available to any organization that is open and requires people to be physically present on site.
What you need to know before you apply
Rapid antigen testing is an additional screening method that can help stop the spread of covid 19 in workplaces and other high-risk settings. Organizations can choose to have employees test on-site or self-swab at home before coming into the workplace.
Rapid antigen tests produce results in about 15 minutes and don’t require shipping to a lab. Screen testing with rapid antigen tests involves routine testing multiple times per week. Your workplace or sector policy may specify the required frequency of testing.
Rapid antigen tests provided through PASP are available for use by employees and other identified groups (for example, patients, essential caregivers, post-secondary students), but are not to be used to screen customers/patrons or the general public.
Organizations taking part in the PASP are required to:
- agree to the program terms and conditions
- review the testing guidance (PDF) and training materials
- notify their local Public Health Unit before your testing program begins
- order their free rapid antigen tests from the distribution partner responsible for their sector
- properly handle and dispose of used tests
Anyone who is “trained” can perform a test
Rapid antigen tests can be performed by health professionals or any individual who is trained (including self-swabbing). Any individual is considered trained when they have consulted the appropriate training materials.
Review testing guidance and training resources
For more information review:
- About the Provincial Antigen Screening Program (PASP)
- The appropriate rapid antigen testing training materials and video
- Provincial Testing Guidance (PDF)
- COVID-19 workplace safety plan guidance
Continue to use other prevention methods
Rapid antigen testing works together with other covid 19 infection prevention methods. Once testing is introduced, continue to use PPE, wash hands and practice appropriate distancing.
Safely dispose of hazardous waste
Waste generated from rapid antigen tests is considered hazardous under the Environmental Protection Act. Review Safe handling and management of rapid antigen COVID-19 testing waste to learn about requirements and exemptions to help businesses to safely dispose rapid antigen tests. Individuals testing at home should consult their municipality to determine if rapid antigen test waste can be disposed of with household garbage.
Isolate if you get a positive rapid antigen test
If you test positive using a rapid antigen test, it is highly likely you have COVID‑19. You should isolate and follow the appropriate guidelines.
You do not need to get a PCR or rapid molecular test to confirm a result from a rapid antigen test.
Use your free tests ethically
Any rapid antigen test that is provided free of charge by the government is not to be re-distributed or re-sold under any circumstance, nor are sites allowed to charge individuals for rapid antigen tests.
What to do if you are not eligible
If your organization is not eligible for free rapid antigen tests, you can still privately purchase them and hire or train people to do testing for your organization.
Organizations who buy tests privately should use them in accordance with testing guidance.
As well, the general public can now get a free rapid antigen tests for at-home use through a time-limited program at participating pharmacy and grocery locations, with a limit of one box of five tests per household. These rapid antigen tests should not be used by organizations to screen employees prior to coming into the workplace.