January 19, 2022
Dear First Nations Schools,
The Province is distributing an initial allocation of 200,000 self-administered rapid antigen tests for immediate use in BC K-12 schools. The initial allocation of rapid tests is intended to support at-home testing of symptomatic school employees as a supplement to existing health and safety protocols in place within schools and communities.
The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) are assisting the Ministry of Education with the distribution of tests to First Nations schools. Shipments are beginning this week and the tests will be sent directly to First Nations schools by the Ministry of Education. First Nations schools are encouraged to provide the notice available at this link to employees prior to the distribution of tests, which includes:
- Guidance on when to use the test;
- Instructions for self-administering the test;
- Directions on what to do in the case of a positive or negative result.
The Province advises that rapid tests be used by school employees when they are experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19. It is recommended that any individuals repacking or distributing the kits should wear gloves when handling the kits to keep them as clean as possible. First Nations schools may wish to distribute the tests to take home and use when needed, to prevent symptomatic employees from having to pick up the test at the school or other location.
First Nations schools are encouraged to work with local First Nations leadership to determine how the rapid tests will be distributed amongst school staff. FNESC and FNSA understand that First Nations may implement policies on the use of rapid tests that supersede the guidance provided by the Province.
For questions related to the distribution of rapid tests please contact EDUC.COVID@gov.bc.ca.