Chamber offers free rapid antigen tests for smaller businesses

Connor McLaughlin, Special to Seaway News
Chamber offers free rapid antigen tests for smaller businesses
Photo from Wikimedia Commons of a COVID-19 rapid antigen test.

CORNWALL, Ontario – As a part of the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative created by Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce (CACC) and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario and Canadian governments, free rapid antigen tests will now be available for small to medium sized businesses. 

The goal of the Rapid Screening Initiative is to identify asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace, hoping to prevent the spread at home, or in the community.  

Greg Pietersma, Executive Director of the CACC, stated that the tests work most effective on those who are un-vaccinated, and are meant for asymptomatic persons. 

The program was sent for approval in the month of September and was confirmed for Oct. 25, 2021. It will continue until Mar. 21, 2022. 

Businesses eligible for free rapid antigen tests are those with a total amount of employees that does not exceed 150. For a business to order their rapid antigen tests, they must register online at the CACC’s website, to which they will have received an email allowing them to order a two-week supply of tests. 

Businesses will be required to assign a Screening Supervisor who must complete a training video, as well they are to report the number of tests completed, number of positive tests, number of negative tests, and number of inconclusive tests.  

Employees must administer the test themselves with a nasal swab under the guidance of their Screening Supervisor. Results are shown within 15 minutes, and all those who test positive or inconclusive must contact the Eastern Ontario Health Unit for a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. 

Kits are available for pick-up by appointment only, at the CACC office building located on 16 Second St. West.  

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