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Plans announced for nearly 1M rapid tests that arrived in B.C. this week

As COVID-19 testing capabilities are hampered by the sheer number of potential Omicron infections in British Columbia, rapid tests are items in demand in the province.

But so far they've been hard to come by, prompting questions and criticism about how they're being used, as well as discrepancies in communication about where the tests promised by the federal government actually are.

At a news conference Tuesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix gave an update on the sought-after tests. Here's a quick look, by the numbers.

To date, B.C. has received 4,850,447 rapid tests. Of those, Dix said, 2,853,595 tests have been deployed to "key strategic areas."

That leaves a current inventory of 1,996,852 tests.

Another 561,772 tests in the current inventory are "not suitable for takeaway or personal use," the minister said.

"They require special equipment, administration by trained health-care professionals and cannot be broken down or repackaged for self-administration. These tests will continue to be used at the discretion of medical health officers in the appropriate settings to manage clusters and outbreaks."

So, according to Dix, there are 1,435,180 tests in the province that can be self-administered, and of those, 959,000 "just arrived yesterday," the minister said.

He said there are plans for some of them, including that 90,000 will be "immediately deployed to acute care facilities for testing of symptomatic health-care workers," and another 90,000 are being repackaged and sent to testing sites to replenish their supply.

Another 200,000 are earmarked for testing of symptomatic staff members at B.C.'s kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) schools.

On top of that, 100,000 will be used at businesses and organizations, he said.

"The balance will be repackaged and allocated over the week ahead, consistent with the plan that was outlined in detail on Dec. 21," Dix said.

And an additional 841,400 tests are expected to be delivered in B.C. later this week or into next week. Dix said more details will be released as tests are received from the federal government. Top Stories

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