Greens call for better access to rapid COVID-19 tests ahead of Easter weekend

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The Green Party is calling on the provincial government to make rapid COVID-19 tests available to all New Brunswickers by Easter weekend.

Access to rapid tests has been limited since January to people aged 2 to 49 who have symptoms of COVID.

But experience has shown that long weekends are followed by an “increase” in COVID cases, Green leader David Coon said in a press release.

“New Brunswickers want peace of mind knowing they won’t be putting elderly or immunocompromised family members at risk by visiting them this long weekend,” he said.

The press release notes that neighboring Nova Scotia is offering free access to rapid tests to anyone who wants them and making them available in public places, such as libraries and MPs’ constituency offices.

“Premier Higgs keeps saying he wants New Brunswickers to make decisions to protect themselves, but how can they do that when most don’t even have access to simple tools like rapid tests? Megan Mitton, health critic for the Greens and MP for Memramcook-Tantramar, said in the statement.

“He must make rapid tests accessible to all New Brunswickers by offering them in communities across the province.

Health Ministry officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

People with symptoms of COVID should go through the COVID-19 testing siteclick on “get tested” and complete an online questionnaire.

The province has also stopped providing airports in Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton with free POCT [point-of-care rapid-test kits].

Coon previously called the decision to “severely limit” access to rapid tests “short-sighted and unnecessary”.

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