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B.C. to provide free rapid antigen tests for those older than 60 starting March 7

Free COVID-19 tests had been available at pharmacies for those older than 70.
COVID test GettyImages-1316289788
Antigen tests can be self administered to help people determine if they are infected with COVID-19

B.C. will start providing free antigen COVID-19 tests to those older than 60 years old starting March 7. 

Eligible individuals will be able to pick up one kit containing five tests every 28 days. They will need to show their personal health number, and other identification. 

Friends or relatives are able to pick up the tests for the eventual recipient, but they would have to provide the recipient's name, personal health number and date of birth. 

Since Feb. 25, these tests have been available only for those aged 70 and older, following a Feb. 23 government announcement. The government's plan is to lower the age of those eligible for the free tests in tranches. 

The government's aim is for people to pick up the tests before they are symptomatic so they are able to use them if they do start to feel sick. 

As of yesterday, B.C.'s Ministry of Health has shipped 3.9 million tests to distributors, which have so far sent 1.8 million rapid tests to community pharmacies across the province. More than 1,000 of those pharmacies then dispensed as many as 583,000 rapid tests so far.

The province expects to receive an additional nine million tests from the federal government. •

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