Free rapid tests for organizations

Learn about rapid antigen testing and find out if your organization is eligible to access free test kits from the government.

Overview

The Provincial Antigen Screening Program (PASP) provides free rapid antigen test kits to high-risk communities, organizations and workplaces. Check your eligibility and apply below.

The program is available to all organizations that are allowed to be open under current public health measures, and also require people to be physically present on site. Any organization mandated to test through a provincial vaccine policy like Directive 6 (PDF) is also eligible.

Step 1: Review the information on this page

Step 2: Check eligibility and apply for the PASP

Step 3: Order free test kits from the distributor serving your sector

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 have them 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. Rapid antigen testing may be performed at least one time per week, and up to 2-3 times per week.

Rapid antigen tests provided through the Provincial Antigen Screening Program are available for use with 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.

Program requirements

Organizations taking part in the PASP are required to:

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:

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.

Rapid tests should not be used during an outbreak unless they are used in addition to (not as a replacement for) diagnostic testing and under the guidance of the local Public Health Unit.

Test people who don’t have symptoms and people who are not fully-vaccinated

Test people who have no covid 19 symptoms and are not a close contact of someone with covid 19. Antigen POCT screening is generally not recommended for individuals who are fully vaccinated as the likelihood of covid 19 is low for this group which could result in an increase of false positive results.

For many sectors, participation is voluntary and people are not required to disclose their vaccination status in order to screen. All individuals should continue to follow all other public health measures in the workplace.

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 new exemptions to help businesses to safely dispose rapid antigen tests. Individuals testing at home should consult their municipality to determine if rapid test waste can be disposed of with household garbage.

Confirm positive results with a diagnostic test as soon as possible

A positive result on a rapid antigen test is considered a preliminary or presumptive positive. Anyone who receives a positive result must:

  • seek confirmation through a lab-based PCR test or rapid POC molecular test as soon as possible (ideally within 48 hours)
  • isolate until the results of the confirmatory test are known

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 the screening test.

What to do if you are not eligible

If you are not eligible for free tests, you can still buy them and hire or train people to do testing for you.

Organizations who buy tests privately should use them in accordance with the covid 19: Considerations for Privately Initiated Testing Guidance (PDF).

Can you provide rapid antigen testing services?