Rapid tests being delivered to support B.C. child care providers

THE Province announced on Wednesday that it is distributing up to 250,000 rapid antigen tests to government-funded child care providers throughout British Columbia for use by child care professionals with COVID-19 symptoms.

Rapid antigen tests are an additional tool that can be used to support health and safety in child care facilities with the aim to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health and the Office of the Provincial Health Officer continue to direct how rapid antigen tests are best used as part of the provincial pandemic response, including if additional tests will be deployed for use in child care settings.

The take-home tests will be delivered directly by the Province to Ministry of Children and Family Development-funded child care facilities through BC Mail to reduce impact on operations for child care providers. Additional information about expected timing will be provided to child care facilities in the coming days as logistics are confirmed.

For information about how rapid tests fit into the continuum of care in child care settings, child care providers are invited to join a virtual information session being hosted by the Ministry of Children and Family Development tonight (Wednesday, January 26) from 7-8:30 p.m. (Pacific Time).

The session will include discussion with a panel of public-health officials to help child care professionals and parents better understand the updated public-health guidance for child care. The panel includes:

* Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer

* Dr. Reka Gustafson, Vice President, public health and wellness, Provincial Health Services Authority, deputy provincial health officer

* Dr. Jason Wong, Associate Medical Director, clinical prevention services, BC Centre for Disease Control

* Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, Deputy Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health

* Nader Massoud, Child Care Licensing Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health

The session will include a comprehensive question-and-answer segment based on questions that have been sent by child care providers and parents, with opportunity to submit additional questions through Zoom’s question-and-answer feature during the webinar.

The meeting will be recorded and available on the Province’s YouTube page and linked to from B.C.’s child care health and safety web page for anyone unable to attend. Child care providers, parents and others can use the following login information to virtually attend or by phone:

Zoom login: https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/66417557482?pwd=aGpJNGZXUXZ3VWNGNzY3b29iN0Qrdz09
Passcode: 959521

By phone: 1 778 907-2071
Webinar ID: 664 1755 7482
Passcode: 959521