Free COVID-19 test kits offered at grocery stores and pharmacies in Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton and beyond


Published December 1, 2022 at 11:49 am

rapid covid test
The province was distributing 5.5 million rapid antigen tests each week for eight weeks through 2,300 participating pharmacy and grocery locations. INSAUGA PHOTO

Ontario will continue to offer free rapid COVID-19 test kits at grocery stores and pharmacies until the summer.

Although COVID-19 cases appear to be trending down in Ontario, Health Minister Sylvia Jones announced the province would continue offering the rapid antigen tests.

“This year’s triple threat of influenza, RSV, and COVID-19 has placed extra demands on the health care system across the country,” Jones said in a press conference today (Dec. 1).

Ontario will extend the free rapid antigen test program in grocery stores and pharmacies across the province until June 30, 2023, Jones said.

“I also want to thank our grocery and pharmacy partners for stepping up to help us deliver this program for another winter season,” she added.

Last December, Premier Doug Ford said indicated a plan to stop providing the free rapid tests and instead save the tests for healthcare workers and more vulnerable sectors of the province. But early in the year announced plans to provide about 5.5 million tests per week through grocery stores and pharmacies.

The latest numbers from Public Health Ontario note COVID-19 weekly case numbers are down 14 per cent compared to last week among those eligible for testing.

The number of reported cases in Ontario was 5,151 the week of Nov. 13 , compared to 5,966 the previous week.

“The number of COVID-19 cases have declined for three consecutive weeks and current projections suggest weekly case numbers may continue to decrease over the next 2 weeks,” Public Health Ontario notes.

View the full provincial press conference here.

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