Rapid COVID tests will be handed out in Chilliwack on Oct. 9. (Engaged Communities/ Facebook)

Rapid COVID tests will be handed out in Chilliwack on Oct. 9. (Engaged Communities/ Facebook)

Rapid COVID tests to be handed out Saturday in high-transmission Chilliwack

‘It’s the first public take-home rapid test initiative in B.C.,’ says community organizer

Free COVID-19 testing kits will be handed out in Chilliwack on Saturday, Oct. 9.

The initiative is being hosted by non-profit Engaged Communities in collaboration with Fraser Health, which is making the rapid-test kits available to residents of Chilliwack.

Chilliwack has a high transmission rate of COVID-19, according to statistics from the BC Centre for Disease Control.

“It’s the first public take-home rapid test initiative in B.C.,” said Melody Ma, a community organizer who worked with the infectious disease specialist who pitched the community-based rapid testing idea to Fraser Health.

Children not eligible for vaccines and immunocompromised people in the Chilliwack area might be interested in picking up a rapid test kit, Ma said.

Distribution of “rapid antigen testing” devices begins at 11 a.m. on Oct. 9 in front of Service BC at #1-45467 Yale Road, as long as supplies last.

RELATED: Cases counts too high in Eastern Fraser Valley

Chilliwack had the worst COVID infection rate in the Lower Mainland as of last week, and new cases remain high in the Eastern Fraser Valley, according to the latest data from the BCCDC.

From Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, Chilliwack had 38 daily cases per 100,000, and is a hotspot in the region. The vaccination rate for Chilliwack was sitting at 72 per cent.

Training to use the rapid test kits with nasal swabs will also be provided at the event.

Residents are asked to bring their health ID and a phone number.

With files from Patrick Penner

RELATED: Rapid tests in areas with high transmission a benefit

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