Government of Canada signs agreement for COVID-19 rapid tests and analyzers

News release

September 29, 2020 - Gatineau, Quebec - Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Government of Canada is protecting the health and safety of all Canadians, while moving quickly to have access to a safe and sustainable economic recovery. This includes taking steps so Canadians can quickly and easily access COVID-19 testing.

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, today announced that the Government of Canada has signed an agreement with Abbott Rapid Diagnostics ULC to purchase up to 7.9 million ID NOW rapid point-of-care tests, pending Health Canada authorization of the tests.

If authorized, these tests would be deployed to provinces and territories to support them in ramping up surge capacity for COVID-19 testing.

Under the agreement with Abbott, the Government of Canada is also purchasing up to 3,800 analyzers, which are the devices that perform the test and deliver the rapid results.  

COVID-19 testing technologies are advancing as the pandemic continues. On behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada is actively exploring additional agreements to secure access to the most promising candidates.


“With testing technology rapidly evolving, the Government of Canada is moving quickly to ensure that Canadians have access to the most effective and efficient testing solutions possible. If authorized, these rapid tests will increase our capacity to detect and respond to new outbreaks, keeping Canadians healthy and safe.”

The Honourable Anita Anand
Minister of Public Services and Procurement 

“As cases of COVID-19 are rising, following public health measures is important to flatten the curve. Detecting cases of COVID-19 quickly is also critical to slow the spread of the virus and today’s announcement will help increase Canada’s capacity, should the tests be authorized by Health Canada.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • Public Services and Procurement Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada are working together to purchase and deploy COVID-19 rapid tests. 

  • The Abbott ID NOW system is a rapid molecular point-of-care test for COVID-19. The technology can detect the virus directly from a nasal swab, returning results between 5 and 13 minutes.

  • The testing system is small and lightweight and can easily be transported to remote locations and operated with minimal training. 

  • The chemicals, or reagents, used to conduct these tests do not require special storage temperatures.

Associated links


Cecely Roy
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Anita Anand

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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