Pharmacists Manitoba asks symptomatic people to go to a provincial testing center instead, where PCR tests are used, and where they can obtain
a suitable test to their situation.
The association recalls that the province is now giving rapid antigen detection tests in its screening centers. Symptomatic people, children 5 years of age and older with symptoms, and close contacts of positive cases can get free kits, as can people referred there by public health.
Rapid tests sold in pharmacies, which cost between $ 15 and $ 70, have always been intended for asymptomatic people, according to a statement from the association published on Thursday.
Former Pharmacists Manitoba President Ashley Hart says pharmacists have been
extremely busy lately.
We get a lot of questions every day from people who want to know who can go to a pharmacy for a rapid antigen test, she said in the statement. We want to help communicate public health recommendations to Manitobans.
The Omicron variant has spread at lightning speed in recent weeks, leading to a substantial increase in the number of people seeking testing at provincial clinics. The wait has sometimes lasted hours and the analyzes of these tests are delayed by several days or even a week.
This week, the province said PCR testing will now be restricted to certain categories of the population. Other people will get rapid tests to see if their symptoms are those of COVID-19.
Pharmacies continue to sell rapid tests to people who have no symptoms and to those who are in close contact with a positive case, according to Pharmacists Manitoba.
Pharmacists sell tests approved by Health Canada and used at home, but their supply is
extremely low, according to the association.