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The first shipments of rapid tests are on the way to schools across B.C., two weeks after classes resumed under new Omicron COVID-19 safety precautions. The province says 200,000 kits are being sent around to schools, to be used by teachers and staff with COVID-19 symptoms.

This is something many educators and parents have been calling for, but they’re not intended for student use.

According to a release, there are 86,700 public school employees, 16,000 independent school employees, and 1,000 First Nation school employees in B.C. That would work out to about two per staff member, thought it’s unclear at this time what distribution at a local level will look like.

B.C.’s Ministry of Education calls the rapid antigen tests (RATs) “an additional tool that can be used to support the continuity of learning in schools with the aim to reduce transmission of COVID-19.” The number of tests each school district gets will depend on the number of teachers and staff.

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