Rapid antigen tests will soon be in the hands of 200,000 K-12 school staff across the province, according to the Ministry of Education.

The tests are to be used by staff, teachers and administrators with symptoms of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Education confirmed the tests were sent out this week, and hopes that they will be an additional tool to support the continuity of learning in schools with the aim to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

The number of tests received by each school district will depend on the number of teaching and non-teaching staff in schools, and in BC, there are around 86,700 public school employees, 16,000 employees of independent schools and 1,000 employees in First Nation schools.

The Ministry of Health along with the PHO will continue to monitor how rapid antigen tests are best used as a part of the province’s response to COVID-19, including if additional tests will be distributed for use in K-12 schools.

The rapid antigen test kits being distributed to K-12 schools across BC were received from Artron Laboratories Inc., a Burnaby-based company, and is in addition to supplies provided to medical health officers in health authorities that will continue to be used to investigate clusters and outbreaks in schools.