MONTREAL -- Two Montreal high schools will deploy rapid COVID-19 testing kits as part of a pilot project.

Researchers will use the tests at Montreal North's Calixa Lavallee and Outremont's Pensionnat du St-Nom-de-Marie, randomly testing 25 per cent of the staff and students to determine how effective the tests are in detecting the virus.

The study is spearheaded by Caroline Quach, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Ste. Justine Hospital.

Since the start of the pandemic, Quebec has received 1 million rapid tests and another 1 million are due to be shipped to the province. However, the provincial government has expressed reluctance to use the tests, citing concerns over their accuracy.

This week, a group of 213 scientists, professors and healthcare workers published an open letter to Premier Francois Legault, demanding the tests be used. They said the current testing system isn't working due to wait times for results, leading to more outbreaks of COVID-19.

The pilot project is scheduled to launch in the last week of January.