Ontario runs out of COVID-19 rapid tests handed out at LCBO retailers in less than a day

All COVID-19 rapid tests designated to be handed out free of charge at LCBO retailers have been distributed, the Ontario government says.

On Wednesday, Ontario announced it would use select LCBO locations as COVID-19 rapid test distribution sites, in what the province dubbed a “holiday testing blitz.” On Friday morning, 100 LCBO retailers across the province handed out the tests to residents, many of whom lined up outside, free of charge.

But by Friday evening, the LCBO announced that their supply had run out.

“Our supply of COVID-19 rapid test kits has run out,” the corporation said in a Tweet on Friday night. “Thanks for your patience and understanding.”

The Ontario government also confirmed through their website that the LCBO no longer has tests to distribute.

“Beginning Dec. 17, select LCBO stores offered free take-home rapid test kits while supplies lasted,” it said.

“All of these test kits have now been distributed. Many thanks to the LCBO for participating in Ontario’s pop-up COVID-19 testing holiday program.”

CTV News Toronto has reached out to the Ministry of Health to inquire whether tests will be restocked and will update this story once a reponse is received.

Rapid antigen tests are still being handed out at community pop-ups and testing centres across the province. To see a full list of participating locations, click here.

These pop-ups are first-come, first-served and many have seen long lines of residents waiting to secure tests.

The Ontario government is underlining that rapid antigen tests are best used on asymptomatic individuals to detect whether they are positive for COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, it is recommended that you do not use a rapid antigen test, but rather take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which can be done at provincial testing locations.

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