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All Quebec elementary-school students to get free rapid tests to take home

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MONTREAL -

Preschool and elementary school students in Quebec will receive rapid COVID-19 tests that can be used at home, the Quebec government announced Thursday morning.

Each student will receive a kit in their school bag that includes five rapid tests, to be used whenever a child shows symptoms associated with COVID-19. 

Distribution of the tests will be phased in by public health.

The tests will be handed out this week to school service centers and school boards in regions where the epidemiological situation is of greater concern, namely Montreal, Estrie, Chaudière-Appalaches, Lanaudière, Montérégie and the Laurentides.

Other regions will receive the tests during the week of Dec.13.

School service centers and school boards will be responsible for distributing the tests to the schools in their territory within a few days of receiving them.

The distribution of tests to private schools will be operated by the education ministry.

The province says the tests will be given to children since they are not yet adequately protected against COVID-19, as the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 has only recently begun.

Rapid tests provide results within minutes and can quickly indicate whether a symptomatic person is infected. However, because they are less reliable than laboratory tests, parents will need to take their children to a testing center if they the rapid test is positive, to confirm the diagnosis and test other family members.

— This report was first published by The Canadian Press on Dec. 9, 2021.  

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