Jean Coutu's Website Showed An Hours-Long Wait Just To Reserve A Free Rapid COVID-19 Test

The wait time kept changing Monday morning.

Senior Editor
Jean Coutu's Website Showed An Hours-Long Wait Just To Reserve A Free Rapid COVID-19 Test

As the first round of free rapid COVID-19 tests became available at Quebec pharmacies, it looks like residents rushed to claim them. At least three pharmacy websites crashed Monday morning. Later, Jean Coutu's website posted a more than 11-hour wait for customers to access the page where they could reserve a test.

After 10 a.m., the wait was down to seven hours and by 10:30 a.m. it was down to three.

The Quebec government plans to gradually make the tests available at over 1,900 pharmacies across the province beginning the week of December 20.

Quebec residents will be entitled to receive one kit, which comprises five rapid antigen tests, every 30 days.

The Association québécoise des distributeurs en pharmacie (AQDP) said Sunday that 200,000 test kits would be available Monday.

"Distribution of rapid tests is starting in pharmacies today and will continue over the next few days," Health Minister Christian Dubé wrote on Twitter Monday morning.

He asked Quebecers to be patient amid limited quantities of test kits and said pharmacies would be posting updates on test availability in their stores.

Earlier in the week, the AQDP advised residents to check pharmacy websites, social media pages and prerecorded messages for information about test stocks.

Also on Monday, Quebec's Clic Santé portal broke down as some Quebecers, including people aged 65 and older, became eligible for a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Dubé said at 9 a.m. that over 83,000 Quebecers had already made appointments Monday morning.

The scramble for tests and appointments comes as the province imposes new health rules to curb the spread of the Omicron variant.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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