Getting Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) in Canberra

Rapid Antigen Tests will now be more available to People with Disability Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

In great news the ACT government’s announced it will (temporarily) provide Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) for disability workers through their employers for the next four weeks. This means workers will be able to ensure they’re not infected with Covid-19 when they’re providing care to people with disability.

Similar arrangements have been made for workers in the aged care sector. The move to expand the availability of the tests should guarantee workers have the ability to test themselves on a daily basis before they provide personal care or other services to people with increased vulnerability to COVID-19.

The Covid tests will be available to both organisations employing front-line workers and self-managing NDIS participants, but not to individual workers. Eligible providers will be able to obtain five tests per week for each worker they employ, with a similar allocation for NDIS participants who use support workers to provide in-home personal care.

The ACT Government’s release accepted that aged care and disability supports are funded and regulated by the Australian Government but, “in an environment where supply and access to RATs is quite difficult, we are responding to community needs as best we can”. Noting that this is only a temporary solution to the problem to overcome the urgent needs of providers. The statement urged service suppliers to only access tests as a last resort and to allow continued delivery of their services.

The statement insisted that the Territory would be continuing to “advocate for the Commonwealth to assume appropriate responsibility for the provision of RATs”. It insisted this was a temporary, rather than permanent solution that had been put in place for the next four weeks to allow the market to establish stable supplies to meet demand.

More information is online.


Nic Stuart

Nicholas Stuart is an author (Kevin Rudd, an unauthorised political biography; What Goes Up, behind the 2007 election; Kevin Rudd, 2007 - 2011) and columnist with the Canberra Times. He was the ABC's Indochina Correspondent when he suffered a significant head injury in a car crash in Bangkok.

One thought on “Getting Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) in Canberra

  1. Congratulations on starting your blog and thank you for providing info on RATs during a stressful time for many in the community.

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