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Ontario to continue to provide free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests through end of July

The province has changed its mind about providing free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to the public.

Originally, the program that provided free test kits at grocery stores and pharmacies, was set to expire on April 8th.

Wednesday afternoon a Ministry of Health spokesperson says Ontario will continue to provide the free tests to the general public until July 31st.

They will also be provided to workplaces, schools, hospitals, long-term care, and retirement homes, and other congregate living settings.

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On Wednesday members of the Green Party and NDP called on the Ford government to expand PCR testing for the virus with the Liberal House Leader saying a “sixth wave is upon us.”  PCR testing for the general public ended in December of last year.

Last week, Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province wouldn’t return to widespread PCR testing unless there is a rapid surge in cases because rapid tests are widely available.

Wastewater testing across the province has shown an increase in COVID-19 infections as mask mandates have eased and other public health restrictions have been dropped.

Across the province, the number of people in the hospital with the virus has been slowly increasing in the past week.

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