Considerations for the use of COVID-19 Rapid Tests


Project Status:
Project Line:
Health Technology Review
Project Sub Line:
Environmental Scan
Project Number:

Testing is an important and evolving factor in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. For testing to be an effective part of public health strategy, it must be easily and equitably available to all who need it.

Self-testing allows people to test themselves or to test a family member for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at home, without the supervision of a health care professional.

Understanding barriers to home rapid testing can help shape the availability of more accessible testing for everyone.

The key objectives of this Environmental Scan are to:

  1. explore the accessibility of COVID-19 testing devices used at home, in the context of different community needs
  2. identify examples of urgent public health needs related to self-testing for these populations.

Targeted consultations were sought with community organizations to identify barriers or accessibility concerns with the use of at-home COVID-19 self-testing. Additionally, websites of community organizations, ministries of health, news media, private test suppliers, and published studies were all consulted to gain additional information and context regarding rapid antigen testing for COVID-19.