What is GetaKit/COVID?
We’re really excited to offer COVID self-testing, but want to make sure you know that the Ministry of Health and Ottawa Public Health recommend that anyone with COVID-like symptoms or who are close contacts of someone who tested positive for COVID should go to an assessment centre for in-person testing.
We know that getting to a COVID testing assessment centre can be difficult, so GetaKit is piloting mail-out COVID self-tests for two months to see if this helps people get tests when they need them. Specifically, we’re hoping to support COVID testing for the following groups:
- African, Black and Caribbean communities
- Indigenous communities
- Individuals who live in multi-generational homes
- Individuals who have not been able to work from home
Mail-out COVID self-testing has many possible benefits:
- Avoid public transport and crowds to access testing
- It adds a layer of privacy, while you determine next steps
- It provides a result within 30 minutes
A few friendly reminders:
- COVID self-testing doesn’t replace in-person testing
- Even with a negative result, it is important to maintain precautions like masking and maintaining a 6-foot distance from others
- You will need to seek in-person testing at a COVID assessment centre within 48 hours of doing your COVID self-test if you have symptoms or are a close contact
What COVID-19 self-test does GetaKit/COVID use?
This pilot uses the Lucira COVID-19 self-test, which was approved by Health Canada on April 26, 2021. The Lucira ® COVID-19 Self-Test is the only self-test for COVID-19 now licensed in Canada, which can detect a positive result in as few as 11 minutes, and confirm a negative result within 30 minutes. Please note that this is considered a screening test, and any“positive” test results must still be confirmed at a COVID testing facility.
What is a COVID-19 self-test kit?
- These are test devices that can be purchased online or over-the-counter and can be used to test yourself for COVID-19 at home or elsewhere. They provide a result within about 30 minutes
- Self-test kits are not the same as self-collection kits. Self-collection kit specimens are still sent to the laboratory for confirmatory testing
- When completing the test, follow the package instructions carefully as well as guidance from Ontario’s self-testing website
- Self-test kits can provide useful information, but results may need to be confirmed with a laboratory test
- For more information on how to book a COVID-19 laboratory test, please visit Ontario’s website on COVID-19 test and testing location information