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'Everyone in the school should have access to tests': Ont. parents push for rapid test accessibility for teachers

As the Omicron variant is quickly spreading throughout Ontario schools, many are questioning why rapid tests are not being given to teachers before the winter break. This comes as teachers have been advocating to make rapid testing more accessible.

Ontario is preparing to send children home with rapid antigen tests just before the winter break, while teachers and other school staff will not be provided with any testing kits.

“No matter what staff -- if it’s an educator, admin, caretaking staff -- everyone in the school building should have access to these tests,” said Kate Dupuis.

Dupuis, along with other parents in Ontario have been advocating for rapid tests to be more accessible and free for the public until.

Late Wednesday afternoon Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that rapid antigen tests will be handed out at around 50 locations across the province beginning this week.

Prior to this announcement, the general public could only access these tests through some pharmacies for $40.

Vince Romeo, the director of education for the London District Catholic School Board, says rapid tests will be made available for all in-person learners.

“What that will entail is a rapid test kit, so five test kits per box and each student will receive a box from kindergarten to Grade 12," he said.

“We have been big proponents of making those tests available for any and all front-line workers…but at this time the only direction we’ve been given by the Ontario government is to provide those test kits for each and every in-person learner in our schools.”

Ford said that 11 million rapid tests will be handed out this month to screen students over the holidays and prevent infections in schools.

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