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Here’s where to get a free rapid test kit in Kingston

Ontario has announced that millions of COVID-19 rapid test kits will be made available in pharmacies and grocery stores across the province. 

According to Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott, Ontario will make 5.5 million test kits available each week in cities across the province. Distribution will be limited to one box of 5 tests per household. 

Of the 2,406 sites participating, 38 grocery stores and pharmacies will be distributing rapid test kits in Kingston. Sites include Loblaws on 1100 Princess Street, the Costco Pharmacy, and the Barrie Street Metro. Some stores, such as Shoppers Drug Mart, report receiving at least 500 kits prior to the announcement.

The tests at grocery stores and pharmacies will be made available as of Feb. 9 through online order or in-store pickup.

“Providing expanded access to testing for Ontarians will support the province’s cautious approach to easing public health measures,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health.  

“While testing is a critical component in our response to COVID-19, vaccination remains the best defence against the virus and its variants. Over the next few months, we need to continue following the public health measures that remain in place and vaccinate those who have yet to receive their doses to protect our communities and health care system capacity,” Moore added.

As of February 9th, Ontario says they’ve already procured about 157 million rapid tests, including 126 million between December 2021 and January 2022. Prior to this announcement, tests kits were primarily available in high-risk locations. 

Ontario’s previously provided free rapid antigen test kits at malls and liquor stores in December ahead of the holidays. However, this approach garnered significant criticism from the public, who found that supply was concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area and supply that was available quickly ran out.

Using a Rapid Test Kit to test for COVID-19:

Where to get a Rapid Antigen Test Kit in Kingston:

A list of participating retailers as well as information on how retail locations are distributing rapid test kits can be found at Ontario.ca/rapidtest.

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