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COVID-19 Rapid tests: the Day-one experience

Today marks the first day of COVID-19 rapid tests being available to the public. Meaning that people are now able to test for COVID in the comfort of their own homes.

Image taken by Branden Desormeau

Today, some West Island News staff attempted to obtain tests for themselves amid the holiday rush. Though it seemed to be too late, as none were available by the 2 pm mark.

We visited 3 different pharmacies around the West Island and were met with the same result. QR codes allowing citizens to get more information are placed in convenient locations to be scanned, which give information on the rollout of the tests, as well as how they work. This info is also given on the Government of Quebec's site.

The rush to get the tests resulted in extremely long lines and issues on pharmacy websites. Jean-Coutu required people to book online prior to pick up, which resulted in their website crashing for a short amount of time. Those who were not able to arrive early were met with the same fate as our staff.

I wasn't able to get to any pharmacy early this morning bevcause of work. I thought I was going to be able to get a kit on my way home.
- West Island shopper

Some pharmacies were limited to 108 kits, which left some who were lined up before opening house empty-handed. (SOURCE)

We were able to quickly speak with busy pharmacists who say they will hopefully be given more as the rollout continues, though they say it is still too early to tell how things will progress.


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