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What you need to know about rapid tests

 

Due to the fast-growing number of cases and contacts in many communities rapid tests are now used in Eeyou Istchee to increase our overall testing capacity.

 

WHAT IS A RAPID TEST?

  • Rapid tests are a type of test that uses an antigen to detect symptoms that could be related to COVID-19.

  • They are not as precise as the tests you find in the CMC. 

  • They can be negative, even if a person actually has COVID-19 (“false negative”). The chance of this goes down when the test is repeated after 24 hours.

  • Much less often, these tests can be positive when someone does not have COVID-19 (“false positive”). This is uncommon.

  • Due to the possibility of false negatives, rapid tests are often used as a preliminary screening test for people who have symptoms or who had a high chance of exposure from contact with an infected person. 

  • An advantage of rapid tests is that people can do them on their own in settings like the Firehall or at home.

  • With so many recent cases and an overwhelming number of contacts and people travelling, the CMCs cannot keep up with the demand for tests, so self-administered rapid tests are better than no test at all. 

WHEN CAN I USE A RAPID TEST

  • If you have travelled and feel well, you can use a rapid test 48 hours after you get back. Repeat the test 5 days after you get back.

  • If you recently returned to Eeyou Istchee and have symptoms, first try to get a test in the clinic.

  • If you returned within the past 14 days and have had symptoms for less than 5 days but can’t get a test in the clinic, you can use a rapid test as a preliminary screening. 

  • If your test is positive, you need to tell the PSO and Public Health. You should think about who all of your contacts were for 2 whole days before your symptoms began and let them know you tested positive.

  • If your test is negative, you have to isolate for 24 hours. Then, if you still have symptoms, you should do a second test. If both tests are negative, and you are feeling better, you can stop isolating. 

  • This does not replace the recommended screening test at day 5 after entering the region. 

WHERE CAN I GET A RAPID TEST?

  • First Responders and PSOs supervise rapid testing in Eeyou Istchee.

  • Consult your Cree Nation Council Facebook page, or your PSO to find out where rapid tests are offered in your community. 

 

 

 

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