Rapid point-of-care testing quickly screens people for COVID-19. In select settings, it is used to reduce the chance of outbreaks and to control the spread of COVID-19.
Rapid point-of-care test kits can be offered as an additional screening tool to supplement regular symptom screening processes for COVID-19 to people (e.g. staff, visitors) entering selected settings.
How rapid point-of-care testing works
- A trained supervisor instructs participants on how to self-collect a nasal swab.
- The nasal swab is processed by following specific steps.
- Test results are available within 15 – 20 minutes.
- If the person receives a positive test result, they are not permitted to enter the facility.
Test kits are available to all Fraser Health-owned and operated and affiliated long-term care and assisted living facilities.
Test kits are available to all private long-term care and assisted living facilities through Provincial Health Services Authority. To request participation in this program, please send an email to RapidPOCTeam@phsa.ca.
As of February 25, some community pharmacies are providing at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen testing kits for free. See the BCCDC’s webpage to learn about eligibility and rapid antigen testing information. To find a pharmacy location offering rapid tests, visit the BC Pharmacy Association's webpage.
Rapid antigen tests
A Rapid Antigen test can be used to quickly test people for COVID-19. While they can be less accurate than PCR tests, results are usually ready in less than 20 minutes and they can be done at home. Learn more by visiting the BCCDC's Rapid point-of-care screening program webpage.
Rapid point-of-care screening program provides rapid antigen tests to organizations, industries and other sectors for workplace screening programs and indications outlined in B.C.’s Rapid Point-of-care testing strategy.
Rapid antigen tests are available through public health at some testing locations for testing people with symptoms. In people without symptoms, the results are less accurate. Learn more here.
Training and communication resources
Refer to the BCCDC Rapid Antigen Testing for COVID-19 (bccdc.ca) webpage for instructions specific to the test kit provided to you.
Refer to the COVID-19 Rapid Point of Care Testing Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Self-collection training, implementation and management guide for detailed information.