Health

Where to Buy COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests in Canada

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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

TestRetailerCost per test
ArtronAurora Biomed$7.50
BTNXAurora Biomed$15.00
CovClearAurora Biomed$13.80
Standard QAurora Biomed$13.80
Xiamen Boson BiotechAurora Biomed$13.80
BTNXCanada Strong Masks$11.38
BTNXCanadian 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 VeritorCOVID Direct$16.00
Abbott – PanbioEPI Canada$17.00
ArtronEPI Canada$14.95
Assure Tech “Fa Step” or “Ecotest”EPI Canada$14.95
CoviDxEPI Canada$16.95
BTNXEPI Canada$14.95
RocheEPI Canada$16.00
Quidel QuickvueMedSupply
BD VeritorMedSupply
BTNXMedSupply
Abbott – PanbioRapid Test & Trace$15.00
BTNXRapid Test & Trace$11.00
RocheRapid Test & Trace$10.50
Xiamen Boson BiotechRapid Test & Trace$9.00
BTNXRapid Test Canada$13.00
BTNXUnited Canada$14.00
Abbott – PanbioUnited 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?

The federal government has spent over $1.33 billion on tens of millions of rapid tests, but approaches to distribution vary by province and only the minority have been deployed and even fewer used.

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.

ProvinceTest availability
AlbertaProvides free rapid tests to employers and service providers with an approved COVID-19 screening program through the provincial government website.
British ColumbiaQualified businesses and high risk organizations such as long-term care homes can get free tests for their employees through safescreenbc.ca.
ManitobaProvide to staff working in schools, licensed centre-based child care facilities and child care providers or individuals working in licensed home-based facilities.
New BrunswickAvailable for free to the public without symptoms
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova ScotiaAvailable for free to the public without symptoms
Nunavut
OntarioProvides 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 IslandAvailable for residents in areas with limited access to provincial testing clinics, and households with school age children who cannot yet be vaccinated.
QuebecAvailable to the general public at most pharmacies at no cost.
SaskatchewanAvailable for free to the public without symptoms
Yukon

Find a COVID-19 testing location in your province

Find a location for either symptomatic or asymptomatic/private testing:

About the author

Alex Wideman
Alex Wideman is a consumer rights advocate, serial entrepreneur and the editor-in-chief of Cansumer. He has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Queen's University. He is passionate about helping others save time and money and has been creating consumer-focused online resources for over 10 years. More about Cansumer Read more

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