Make COVID-19 rapid tests more accessible, plead community groups and health-care providers – CBC

Vulnerable people making ‘dire’ decisions, says advocate

Apr 25, 2022ac

Thirty-four community groups and health-care providers in Newfoundland and Labrador say provincial options for obtaining a COVID-19 rapid antigen test are not equitable or sustainable.

On Monday, the St. John’s Status of Women Council released an open letter on behalf of groups asking the provincial government to increase access to rapid tests. The letter, addressed to Premier Andrew Furey and Health Minister John Haggie, asks the government to distribute tests through community organizations, the regional health authorities and other venues.

Bridget Clarke, the council’s advocacy co-ordinator, said Monday that without access to rapid tests, some vulnerable people with a low or fixed income are forced to make dire decisions.

“Especially with the increased costs of living, people are making decisions between transportation, food, rent, heat and purchasing rapid tests,” Clarke said. “We believe that it’s the government’s responsibility to make rapid tests free, accessible, and that there’s a sustainable supply for people who need them most.”

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