The North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce has 10,000 rapid antigen COVID-19 tests on backorder, according to Peter Chirico.
Chirico, the president of the local chamber, said he hopes to have the shipment into North Bay by mid-week or early next week.
He said those who want a test can apply online and you don’t have to be a member of the chamber to secure them.
“ We have 10,000 tests on back order and this in addition of the 25,000 we already received.”
Rapid Antigen COVID-19 tests are a hot commodity across the province, including North Bay.
Several residents have posted their need for a test and their willingness to pay for them on various social media platforms.
The province distributed rapid antigen tests to several Eastern and Southern Ontario communities the week before the new year.
North Bay and other Northern Ontario communities were left off the list. It’s unsure when the region will get more rapid antigen tests for the public.
The province recently changed its COVID-19 testing eligibility.
Previously anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 could get a publicly funded PCR test, however not only those on an eligibility list can gain access to them.
That eligibility list includes people considered at high risk of serious illness from the virus, patient-facing health-care workers and staff, essential care providers and visitors in hospitals and congregate living settings, such as long-term care, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, temporary foreign worker settings and correctional institutions.
Elementary and secondary students across Ontario received a box of five rapid antigen COVID-19 tests to take home with them.
The province is offering a Provincial Antigen Screening Program provides free antigen test kits to high-risk communities, organizations and workplaces.
To check your eleigibility visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/get-free-rapid-tests
With files from the Canadian Press