Whitehorse Daily Star

COVID-19 test kits proving scarce

The Yukon government says it will continue to provide free COVID-19 rapid testing kits – despite a scarcity of them in city stores.

By T.S. Giilck on February 9, 2024

The Yukon government says it will continue to provide free COVID-19 rapid testing kits – despite a scarcity of them in city stores.

Social media complaints – as well as a local resident who contacted the Star – have suggested the government has quietly stopped providing the kits. They have been a mainstay in the community for the past two or three years.

Zachary Burke, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Services, told the Star last week, “We continue to offer Rapid Antigen testing free of charge.

“The Government of Yukon’s public health strategy aims to normalize the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19, aligning it with the approaches for other respiratory viruses.  We are consistently reviewing public health guidelines, including the chief medical officer of health’s recommendations on testing and the use of Rapid Antigen Tests.”

Burke went on to add, “There are no public health recommendations to test for COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals or those with mild respiratory symptoms.

“However, if symptoms require medical attention, individuals should seek care, where a health care provider may administer a diagnostic test if necessary.”

There has been widespread informal speculation the government is ending the supply of free tests.

The kits have been increasingly hard to find around the city. The Bigway store in Granger, usually one of the easiest places to find them, currently has none in the usual location.

On Facebook, Cheryl Groat wrote.

“Pharmacys (sp.) are not distributing them anymore. No idea where to get them anymore. Hospital doesn’t as well. I guess it’s just the common cold and we don’t test anymore.”

Elizabeth Nemeth posted, “yeah, checked Shoppers, Superstore, Walmart and Medicine Chest and they were all out.”

Burke said he has no idea why the kits are so scarce, but added he would investigate further.

Comments (1)

Up 31 Down 3

North_of_60 on Feb 12, 2024 at 3:40 pm

Medical science around the world recognizes the RAT test's ineffectiveness. BC Health declared the RAT tests ineffective and ordered them removed from use and disposed. YG is wise not to provide or use them. There are more important things to spend our scarce health resources on.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.