While many COVID-19 antigen tests are being given out for free by provincial and federal governments (primarily to employers) and others are available as a service for a fee of $30 to $60 through providers such as the pharmacies at Costco, Walmart and Shopper’s Drug Mart, do-it-yourself kits are also available to purchase online – while supplies last – that you can you can perform at home and get a result in 15 minutes.
Rapid antigen tests are used as a screening tool only for asymptomatic individuals as an addition to other infection prevention & control measures and their potential benefits include fast (15 minute) turnaround time, lower cost and ability for non-professionals to do the test. The test used must be on the list of devices authorized by Health Canada.
Some of the most popular approved tests in Canada include:
- BTNX – Rapid Response COVID-19 Antigen Test (made in Canada)
- Artron Antigen COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Rapid Test (Canada)
- Quidel Quickvue At-home OTC COVID-19 Test (US)
- BD Veritor System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 (US)
- Roche Rapid Antigen Test (Germany)
- Abbott – Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (Germany)
- Xiamen Boson Biotech – SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test Card (China)
- Assure Tech “Fa Step” or “Ecotest” (China)
- Lumos Diagnostics CoviDx™Rapid Antigen Test (US)
- Empowered Diagnostics CovClear COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test (US)
- SD Biosensor Standard Q COVID-19 AG Nasal Test
Please note: due to regulations, tests cannot be sold directly to the public in all provinces and due to high demand, some retailers may be sold out of some kits.
Buy COVID-19 Antigen tests online
|Test||Retailer||Cost per test|
|Standard Q||Aurora Biomed||$13.80|
|Xiamen Boson Biotech||Aurora Biomed||$13.80|
|BTNX||Canada Strong Masks||$11.38|
|BTNX||Canadian Life Science||$12.00|
|Assure Tech “Fa Step” or “Ecotest”||canaPHEM||$15.75|
|Assure Tech “Fa Step” or “Ecotest”||COVID Direct||$6.50|
|Assure Tech “Fa Step” or “Ecotest”||COVID Direct||$7.00|
|BD Veritor||COVID Direct||$16.00|
|Abbott – Panbio||EPI Canada||$17.00|
|Assure Tech “Fa Step” or “Ecotest”||EPI Canada||$14.95|
|Abbott – Panbio||Rapid Test & Trace||$15.00|
|BTNX||Rapid Test & Trace||$11.00|
|Roche||Rapid Test & Trace||$10.50|
|Xiamen Boson Biotech||Rapid Test & Trace||$9.00|
|BTNX||Rapid Test Canada||$13.00|
|Abbott – Panbio||United Canada||$11.20|
COVID-19 Antigen test results – what does C & T mean?
“C” stands for control region and “T” stands for test region.
Band appears in both C and T = positive
Two coloured bands appear – one in the control region (C) and another in the test region (T). Find a location to get a PCR test to confirm the result.
Band appears in both C and T = negative.
Only one coloured band appears, in the control region (C). No band appears in the test region (T).
No control band appears = invalid test
Results from any test which has not produced a control band must be discarded.
Where to get free Rapid Antigen tests in your province?
Federally, companies with 10 to 199 employees in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario can access free rapid tests through the rapid antigen test initiative from participating pharmacies.
|Alberta||Provides free rapid tests to employers and service providers with an approved COVID-19 screening program through the provincial government website.|
|British Columbia||Qualified businesses and high risk organizations such as long-term care homes can get free tests for their employees through safescreenbc.ca.|
|Manitoba||Provide to staff working in schools, licensed centre-based child care facilities and child care providers or individuals working in licensed home-based facilities.|
|New Brunswick||Available for free to the public without symptoms|
|Newfoundland and Labrador|
|Nova Scotia||Available for free to the public without symptoms|
|Ontario||Provides free tests to high-risk communities, organizations and workplaces through an application process and is now distributing them to the public through the LCBO and at pop-up locations.|
|Prince Edward Island||Available for residents in areas with limited access to provincial testing clinics, and households with school age children who cannot yet be vaccinated.|
|Quebec||Available to the general public at most pharmacies at no cost.|
|Saskatchewan||Available for free to the public without symptoms|
Find a COVID-19 testing location in your province
Find a location for either symptomatic or asymptomatic/private testing:
- British Columbia (Private testing)
- Manitoba (Private testing)
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia (Private testing)
- Prince Edward Island
- Saskatchewan (Private testing)