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Quebecers May Get Self COVID-19 Tests To Take Home Before Christmas, Dubé Says

Quebecers could be getting a special Christmas gift from the government this year: COVID-19 self-tests to take at home. In a press conference on Friday, Health Minister Christian Dubé said he has asked the federal government for 10-million self-tests that he hopes to dish out to families across the province for the holidays.

But he said whether or not the rapid test kits, which come in packs of five, can be doled out to Quebecers in time depends — like vaccines — on federal supply.

"If the federal government delivers the goods, and I think they are capable of doing so, to give us enough self-tests so that we have some before the holidays, that's really what I'm hoping for," Minister Dubé said. "I dare to hope, it is December 3, that we will have that for Christmas."

Dubé said he's not sure how the tests would be distributed and can't guarantee they'll be free, but he's in the process of working out the details.

"Usually the tests are provided to us free of charge by the federal government, and we'll see how it's done," he said.

"Secondly, I have to make sure of the distribution network. Do I go through the pharmacies? Do we go, once again, through the schools? Then, well, I'm going to have to negotiate the rates with the pharmacists, etc. but we're there, I can tell you that we're there."

More than 1.5 million COVID-19 tests will become available to Quebec's daycare network on Monday. The idea, according to a government press release, is that daycares will distribute the testing kits to parents, who can "quickly screen children who present COVID-19 symptoms" from home.

"The last inventory of tests we had was 1.5 million, and then we decided to empty our drawers because we had sent some to companies, we had sent some to schools. Now, what we had left, we decided that the most important thing was to screen the non-vaccinated, and the non-vaccinated is 0 to 5 years old in daycare," said Dubé.

Do-it-yourself COVID-19 tests are already available in other Canadian provinces, including Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.

This article's left-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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