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Some Quebec Pharmacy Websites Have Crashed As Free Rapid COVID-19 Tests Become Available

Meanwhile, new health rules are taking effect.

Senior Editor
Some Quebec Pharmacy Websites Have Crashed As Free Rapid COVID-19 Tests Become Available

On the day that rapid COVID-19 tests are supposed to become available at Quebec pharmacies, several of their websites have crashed.

At 8:00 a.m., the websites of Jean Coutu, Familiprix and Brunet were not functioning, each displaying an internal server error. As of 8:30 a.m., the Familiprix site appeared to be up again.

Free rapid COVID-19 tests are supposed to gradually become available at over 1,900 pharmacies across the province beginning December 20.

In a December 19 statement, the Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires (AQPP) said that as many as 200,000 test kits would be available at participating pharmacies as of that date.

The AQPP previously advised checking pharmacy social media pages, websites or voice messages for updates about test availability.

The government has said that each resident will be entitled to five free tests in a 30-day period.

The rapid test rollout comes as new COVID-19 infections have skyrocketed in Quebec and the province imposes new health rules aimed at curbing the spread of the Omicron variant, which Health Minister Christian Dubé has said is more infectious than other COVID-19 virus variants.

Quebec broke its record for the most new cases reported in a single day on December 17 with 3,768 and then again on December 19 with 3,846.

Among the new restrictions taking effect Monday are 50% capacity limits at restaurants, stores and venues and a ban on karaoke and dancing.

The province also reversed an earlier decision to expand the private gathering capacity for the holidays. Instead, the 10-person limit for indoor private gatherings is staying in place.

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