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Nearly 290,000 free rapid tests handed out in Yukon this year

Yukoners can pick up test kits at no cost at several businesses and communities
An at-home rapid test for COVID-19 from March 25 appears to show a positive result. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News file)

The number of free rapid antigen tests handed out this year via the Yukon government has racked up to close to seven times the population of the territory.

In total, 289,399 rapid tests have been distributed across the territory in 2022, according to the department of Health and Social Services in a July 28 email.

The email states that during the week of July 11, 3,375 Roche tests and 10,380 BTNX tests were given out.

From Old Crow to Whitehorse and Watson Lake, Yukoners can pick up rapid tests at no cost at several businesses and communities across the Yukon.

The self-administered test kits can be used at home or elsewhere to detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Updated in July, the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Lab has developed guidance on the use of rapid antigen detection tests for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The interim guidance indicates molecular testing remains the “gold standard” for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection in Canada.

Given the widespread community transmission, the territorial government previously said it no longer has the capacity to use lab-based PCR tests for most people to test for COVID-19. PCR testing is being saved for those who are most at risk of getting very sick from the illness.

Contact Dana Hatherly at

Dana Hatherly

About the Author: Dana Hatherly

I’m the legislative reporter for the Yukon News.
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