Rapid tests are used in Eeyou Istchee to increase testing capacity to respond to the continued spread and community transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Rapid tests are an important tool in the new Deconfinement Plan in effect in Eeyou Istchee.
People can still take a clinical test when and if it’s available at their CMC or hospital. But CMCs cannot test all people who require testing, and can’t meet all testing needs when there is a surge in demand for tests.
Rapid testing helps fill that gap. Community members can take a rapid test, at a local site, or at home.
VIDEO: Rapid test video instructions are available at the bottom of this page.
General information about rapid tests
Rapid antigen tests:
- are a type of test that uses an antigen to detect COVID-19 infections.
- they check for protein fragments specific to the COVID-19 virus.
- they're used to determine if you have COVID-19, whether you have symptoms or not.
- can detect the COVID-19 virus when the test is done three (3) to five (5) days after the start of symptoms.
- they're are done by using a swab to collect a sample from each nostril.
- they're easier because people can do them in their home, or at a designated testing site in their community.
- are not as precise as PCR tests you can do at a CMC.
- Rapid tests can be negative, even if a person actually has COVID-19 (“false negative”). The chance of this goes down when a second test is repeated after 24-48 hours.
- Because of the chance of a false negative result with a rapid test, Public Health recommends that rapid tests be repeated in certain situations:
- If a child in your home has symptoms, and needs to stay home from school, they should be tested two times with a home rapid test, with 24 hours between each test.
- People who have returned from an Area of Risk should be tested according to measures in place in their community.
- If you are travelling from an Area of Risk to Eeyou Istchee, you have take one or more rapid tests to fulfill mandatory testing requirements in your community.
- Please take a screen shot of your test result and save it to your phone or tablet, to have a record of your test.
- If you live in Eeyou Istchee, and you are identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you may be asked to take a rapid test.
- If you are a parent or guardian of a child/children in school, you may be asked to take a rapid test if a situation arises in your child’s classroom.
- Rapid test kits are being distributed in all communities in Eeyou Istchee.
- First Responders and PSOs manage rapid testing sites in their communities.
- Consult your Cree Nation Council Facebook page, or your PSO to find out where rapid tests are offered in your community, or how to get a home test kit.
- The Cree School Board is also distributing rapid test kits to families with children and youth.
- Rapid tests are also available at pharmacies outside of Eeyou Istchee. You can pick up rapid test kits at pharmacies if you have a valid Health Care card.
Rapid tests at home
- It is important to follow the instructions of the test kit precisely.
- Taking a swab that is not in the right place or using the wrong amount of time or liquid reagent can lead to a “false negative” test.
Scroll down to the bottom of this page to "Printable Resources" and download a one-page rapid test guide.
Two lines are used to read the rapid test result:
- the control line, which is C;
- the test line, which is T.
Only the result visible in the window 15 to 20 minutes after the start of the test is valid.
- The result is positive when line C and line T appear in the window.
- The order in which the lines appear is not important and even if a line is pale, the result indicated is accurate.
- The result is negative when only line C appears in the window.
- The result is invalid if line C is not visible in the window.
Take a photo of your test result
- Whether your test result is positive or negative, take a photo of the test and save it on your phone or tablet for your records.
If your test result is positive, please inform your Public Safety Office (PSO) as soon as possible. This helps track new cases in your community.
- If you have received your COVID-19 test result, whether positive or negative, please read the instructions on the page linked below to understand what steps you need to take.
Click on the boxes below for instructions on Medical Isolation and Contact Tracing.
Resources: If your Rapid Test is positive
Rapid tests when you've already had COVID-19
It depends on your situation.
If you tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 90 days (3 months): You won’t normally need another screening test for 90 days after infection, even if you travel outside Eeyou Istchee.
- This 90-day period starts from the first day of your infection (when it was confirmed by a test)
- If, however, a doctor instructs you to take a Covid-19 test, you should take it.
Why don't you need a Covid-19 test in this time period?
- Re-infection in the 90 days following a COVID-19 infection is extremely uncommon.
- There is a much higher chance that, during this time period, you'll test positive even though you're not contagious anymore, and you're not infected.
- This is because of virus shedding, which happens when fragments of the dead virus linger in your nose or throat.
- Virus shedding can be detected by COVID-19 tests.
For more information, visit: Ending Medical Isolation After a COVID-19 Infection
If your previous infection was more than 90 days ago:
You should get tested for COVID-19, like anyone else, in situations that require it.
- If you have symptoms,
- when you’re travelling from an area of risk to Eeyou Istchee,
- when you have had contact with someone who has Covid.
In some cases, it is preferable to take a test at the clinic first, rather than a rapid test.
If you tested positive in the last 10 days (after showing symptoms, or being screened):
- You don’t need to do a 2nd Rapid Test in the contagious period of your infection (about 10 days).
- In some places, people are taking a 2nd rapid test after testing positive, to see whether they’re still contagious.
- A 2nd test taken in these cases is not reliable way to determine the end of a contagious period.
The best way to determine the end of a contagious period is by the time (number of days) that have passed since the start of the infection, as well as whether your symptoms have gone away.