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Here's where to find a free rapid COVID-19 test in Simcoe Muskoka

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Free COVID-19 rapid test kits are available at select stores across Simcoe Muskoka following an announcement by the province to expand access to support the easing of public measures.

The Ontario government said it would make about 5.5 million test kits available each week at select pharmacies and grocery stores across the province.

"As we move forward to post-COVID life, having rapid tests locally available will give many people peace of mind and encourage them to continue doing what they love, like supporting their favourite local restaurant," said Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin.

WHERE TO FIND A FREE RAPID TEST KIT

Several locations across Simcoe Muskoka will offer the free rapid tests.

The home kits will be available through in-store pickup or online orders, with a limit of one kit, which includes five tests, per household per visit.

A complete list of pharmacies and stores offering the tests is available here.

USING A COVID-19 RAPID TEST KIT

At-home COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits can be used to determine if symptoms are related to COVID-19.

Positive test results do not need to be reported to the health unit or followed up with a PCR test.

At the onset of symptoms, individuals must isolate for five days if fully vaccinated and 10 days if unvaccinated. Isolation can end after the required five or 10 days if symptoms are improved for at least 24 hours.

All household members must also isolate for the same number of days.

According to public health, a negative rapid antigen test doesn't rule out COVID-19.

If an individual tests negative with a home kit but has COVID-19 symptoms, they need to self-isolate and be tested again in 24 to 48 hours.

Individuals can return to work or school when symptoms improve after two negative rapid tests.

Complete information on isolation requirements and rapid testing is available on the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit's website.

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