COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (self-test kits)

The best test for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 is a molecular test.  If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (even mild ones), visit one of the COVID-19 Drop-in clinics to be tested and self-isolate until your results come back.

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:

**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.

Supporting children to return to in-class learning and childcare

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.

Storage notes

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.

Anyone who tests positive using a rapid antigen test must self-isolate as a positive case of COVID-19 and should make arrangements to get a confirmatory test at a provincial testing clinic.

Additional information

For more information about self-test kits, please email hometestkit@gov.pe.ca

Published date: 
May 24, 2022
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca