Pat Foran CTV News Toronto Consumer Alert Videojournalist
People across Ontario are lining up just before the holidays to get their hands on free rapid antigen COVID-19 tests that are being handed out by the provincial government and can offer results in about 15 minutes.
Due to demand, now some people, who want to try and get the tests in time for the holidays, have decided to pay for them instead and order them online and concerns are being raised about kits being sold on classified websites for inflated prices.
Test kits are showing up for sale on classified websites and some are listed with hefty prices. Experts are concerned about where the tests kits have come from and if the free tests provided by the government could be sold for a profit.
The province of Ontario said it will be handing out the free test kits from now through to mid-January, but it’s not clear what will happen after that.
“I think, throughout this pandemic, we have underused rapid test kits to keep people safe," said Dr. Naheed Dosani, a palliative care physician and COVID-19 expert, who had advocated that the province should hand out the rapid tests for free.
Doasani said he was pleased to see the province of Ontario agree to provide the free tests and believes they can be a helpful tool to battle the virus.
"We are going into the holidays, people are going to be gathering inside, there is more reason than ever before to make these rapids test kits available," Dosani said.
On the first day, the test kits were handed out for free in Ontario at LCBO stores and pop-up locations, but there were long line-ups and many locations ran out of the test kits within hours.
Some locations had about 1000 of the tests kits available to distribute and there was a limit of one kit per household, with each kit containing five tests.
With no guarantee you will get a rapid test kit for free, some consumers were anxious to have them for the holidays and have decided to purchase the kits and order them online.
DriverCheck, a provider of medical testing and assessments for the workplace, is now selling COVID-19 rapid antigen tests through it’s COVIDdetect.ca website.
Dr. Johnathan Davids, the chief medical officer at DriverCheck said the kits are being sold for $58.75 for one kit which contains five tests, plus shipping costs.
“This is another thing that we can put in place to try and prevent transmission," Davids said.
The tests come with instructions, online training and telephone support and the company said they can help offer peace of mind for families as they get together over the holidays.
“No matter where you get these rapid test kits, I think they are going to be a really important thing for people to consider with their friends and family over the holiday season," Davids said.
Depending on the website where you order the rapid test kits from they should arrive within two to five days.
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