COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (self-test kits)
Rapid antigen tests are a valuable tool that can be used to assess and monitor for COVID-19 infection.
If you have tested positive on a rapid antigen test, immediately isolate and go to a testing clinic to confirm your result.
If you don’t confirm your result at a testing clinic, you are required to isolate as a positive case (7 days if fully vaccinated or under age 5; 10 days if not fully vaccinated) and follow the steps outlined for positive cases, including notification of close contacts.
There are three types of rapid antigen kits in circulation on Prince Edward Island:
SD Biosensor Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Test
Abbott PanbioTM Rapid Antigen test
BTNX Rapid Response™ Rapid Antigen test
PEI is distributing a limited supply of rapid antigen screening tests in a targeted manner focusing on the following areas:
Testing all staff in long-term care and community care, regardless of vaccination status
For households, via Access PEI offices across the Province**
**Households are limited to two take home kits from Access PEI, which contains four tests. Islanders are asked to only pick up tests as needed and not to stockpile tests at home.
Self-test kits use a shallow swab to collect samples from the throat and nose and can provide results in as little as 15 minutes.
Rapid antigen tests may be used for screening children who have a single and mild symptom of COVID-19, who attend school or daycare in PEI, who are too young to be vaccinated (i.e., under the age of 5), and who are not able to visit a drop-in clinic.
- If you child has a recent (i.e., last 14 days) history of travel off the Island or has had contact with someone who has COVID-19, is suspected of having COVID-19 then your child should not be tested with a rapid antigen test, but should self-isolate and visit a drop-in clinic to be tested.
- Because rapid antigen tests are less accurate than PCR tests, if the rapid test is negative, it needs to be repeated in 48 hours. If the test is positive, it should be confirmed by a molecular test at a COVID-19 drop-in clinic. If you don’t confirm your result at a testing clinic, you are required to isolate as a positive case (7 days if fully vaccinated or under age 5; 10 days if not fully vaccinated) and follow the steps outlined for positive cases, including notification of close contacts.
- Children who are sick should stay home from school or daycare until they feel better.
Children may be nervous. They may be asking questions like: Why do I have to take a COVID test? How will you do it? Will it hurt?
Here’s a video to share with your children that might help.
Rapid tests should NOT be stored in vehicles or areas of your home/business where the temperature may go below 2 Celsius. The temperature of a COVID -19 rapid test must stay between 2 - 30 degrees (kitchen, bathroom and bedroom are good places to store the test kit until you use it).
In PEI three Rapid Antigen Tests are available to the public.
- SD Biosensor Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Test (pink and white)
BTNX Rapid Response™ (green)
Abbott Panbio™ Rapid Antigen Tests (blue and white)
This video shows how to self-administer the test, regardless of which test you have.
- SD Biosensor Rapid Antigen COVID-19 test (pink and white)
- BTNX Rapid Response™ (green)
- Abbott Panbio™ Rapid Antigen test (blue and white)
- Rapid Response™ Self-Test Frequently Asked Questions
For more information about self-test kits, please email email@example.com