Rapid Response™ Self-Test Kits Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between at-home rapid antigen tests and the tests that are offered at the provincial testing clinics?

At-home rapid antigen tests such as the Rapid Response™ kits are screening tests for COVID-19.  A screening test can detect potential COVID-19 infection in the person taking the test. These tests have a high rate of accuracy but can produce false negatives or false positives from time to time.

Whenever possible, the best test for anyone with symptoms is a lab based PCR test, taken at a provincial testing clinic.  

Why did I receive a kit with multiple Rapid Response™ tests?

Rapid antigen tests are less accurate than lab based PCR tests from a provincial testing clinic. If a child tests negative using a rapid antigen test, you need to repeat the test again in 48 hours.  

What if my test kit does not come with a test tube stand?

Not every kit will have a white plastic tube stand from the manufacturer. If you did not receive one, you can make your own tube stand by following the instruction video.

When should I use the Rapid Response™ rapid antigen test?

Rapid Response™ tests are being distributed for children ages 2 to 11 years who are not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

You should use these screening tests if your child has a single mild symptom of COVID-19 and you are not able to take your child to a drop-in COVID-19 testing clinic. Those symptoms are:

  • Fever (38°C or higher) / chills
  • New or worsening cough
  • Feeling unwell / unusual fatigue
  • Body / muscle / joint aches
  • Headache
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
  • Shortness of breath / difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of smell and/or taste
  • Runny / stuffy nose

The test can also be used for testing school-aged children younger than 8 years who have travelled outside of the province and need to be tested before returning to school. Usually children between 8 and 11 years old are tested at the point of entry upon returning to Prince Edward Island. 

When should I not use the Rapid Response™ rapid antigen test?

If your child is experiencing more severe symptoms, you should seek medical care immediately.

If your child has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and requires testing, either for symptoms or as advised by Public Health, do not use Rapid Response™ rapid antigen tests. Instead, you should take your child to a provincial testing site.

If your child has any symptoms of COVID-19 and has recently travelled outside of PEI (within the last 14 days) do not use the Response™ rapid antigen tests. Instead, take your child to be tested at a provincial testing site.

What do I do if my child has a positive test result?

A positive test result is considered a preliminary positive. This means that your child is presumed to have COVID-19 until confirmed with a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.  If your child’s Rapid Response™ test is positive, you will need to do the following:

  • The child should self-isolate with a parent/guardian until arrangements can be made to take a lab-based PCR test at one of the COVID-19 testing clinics.
  • Visit a COVID-19 testing clinic and tell the clinic staff there was a positive result on a self-test kit
  • Continue to self-isolate until the results of the lab-based PCR test are shared with you. Anyone who is confirmed positive with a lab-based test will be contacted by Public Health with further instructions.
  • After completing the lab based PCR test, please inform Public Health of your preliminary positive result on the Self-Test Kit by emailing the name of the child that was tested and a telephone number to hometestkit@gov.pe.ca

What does it mean if my child has a negative test result using the Rapid Response™ rapid antigen test?

A negative result means the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your child’s sample. However, the Rapid Response™ test may produce some false negative test results (i.e., a result that indicates the individual is not infected with COVID-19 when in fact they are).

For this reason, you should repeat the test again in 48 hours using the second test in the kit. Your child should continue to follow precautionary measures such as staying home when sick, proper cough etiquette, and frequent hand washing.  

Whenever possible, the best test for anyone with symptoms is a lab based PCR test from a provincial testing clinic.   

What if my child has had two negative test results using the Rapid Response™ rapid antigen tests, but continues to show mild symptoms of COVID-19?

Staying home when sick is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses. If your child continues to have mild symptoms after two negative tests, please use the COVID-19 Screening Tool to help with your decision on when a child can return to school.

If symptoms continue, an additional test can be taken at a provincial testing clinic and the child should seek medical attention.

What do I do if my child has an invalid test result?

If your child has an invalid test result, you can immediately repeat the test using the second test provided in the kit.

Where do I get additional test kits?

If available, additional test kits can be picked up at Access PEI sites, schools with kindergarten through Grade 6, or licensed Early Learning Centres. 

Additional rapid antigen tests are not a suitable replacement for any direction you have received to visit a provincial testing clinic. Rapid antigen tests are also not to be used if you are directed to visit a testing clinic by a Public Health official.

What do I do if I damage or lose a piece of my test kit?

Individual items from the test kit cannot be replaced. If you lose or damage a portion of your test kit, you must pick up an additional test kit.  

Can the test kits be used by older children or adults with mild symptoms of COVID-19?

Although the tests can be used by those over the age of 11, the supply of tests is intended for those aged 11 and younger who cannot be vaccinated at this time. Those 12 years and older should go to a provincial testing clinic to ensure young children who cannot be vaccinated have access to test supplies.   

Times and locations for provincial testing clinics: PrinceEdwardIsland.ca/COVIDtesting
Published date: 
November 2, 2021
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