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COVID-19 rapid testing now available at Cates Medicine Centre

Islanders are to call ahead if they're looking for a COVID-19 test
Woman getting a rapid test done
Rapid antigen tests are less accurate than the standard polymerase chain reaction test, but can produce results quicker.

There’s finally public COVID-19 testing on Bowen Island. Cates Medicine Centre in Village Square is now offering COVID-19 antigen testing, popularly known as “rapid tests.” The tests are administered by a pharmacist, in line with Health Canada regulations, according to the pharmacy’s Facebook post.

The test takes 15 minutes, start to finish, said pharmacist Simin Mirpourzadeh. The tests are suitable for people five years of age and older.

While if islanders want to travel they need to have the more accurate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test done on the mainland, the rapid tests are still helpful. “This is pretty high accuracy but it's not on the same level as the PCR,” said Mirpourzadeh.

Islanders are to book by calling ahead (604-947-0766) and are to stay in their car or stand in the covered waiting area. (They do not want COVID-19 symptomatic people inside the pharmacy.)

Calling ahead is also good as administering the test is a matter of Mirpourzadeh having the time among all of her other duties. “They may have to wait for me to be available and come out and do their tests,” she explained.

The test can be done on asymptomatic people as well and it does come with a cost of $35 per test. 

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