Rapid COVID tests available to businesses through CW Chamber of Commerce

CENTRE WELLINGTON  – The Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce (CWCC) is launching the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative.

In conjunction with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and in partnership with the Ontario and Canadian governments, free rapid tests are available for small and medium-sized businesses in Wellington County.

“Our chamber is proud to distribute rapid tests to small businesses in Wellington County,” said Sally Litchfield, general manager.

“We hope that through this program, we will be able to curb the spread and reopen our local economy safely.”

Businesses, including non-chamber members, with 150 employees or less are welcome to participate in this program.

The goal is to identify asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace that might otherwise be missed, helping to curb the spread in the workplace, at home and around the community.

The initiative was successfully piloted in the Waterloo region by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo and Cambridge Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Communitech, the Government of Ontario and Government of Canada.

Through this pilot, the chambers in KW have delivered 120,000 kits to nearly 1,400 businesses in the region.

This means that up to 30,000 employees in essential workplaces are receiving regular screening twice weekly in the Waterloo region alone.

The COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative builds upon the success of this existing program and delivers tests into the hands of small and medium-sized businesses across the province.

“Rapid testing is one of the key ways to keep workplaces as safe as possible during the pandemic as we wait for vaccinations to roll out. It will be an essential part of curbing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities so that we can get on the path to economic recovery faster,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Interested businesses can log onto cwchamber.ca/News/Workplace-Self-Screening-Kits to order their two-week supply of rapid tests.

The kits will be available for pick-up at pre-scheduled pick-up times.

The temporary distribution centre is in the basement of the Ecclestone Financial Group building at 245 St. David St. North in Fergus.

A designate from each business, responsible for supervising the self-screening collection onsite, will be required to receive video training to properly supervise the screening process and safely dispose of the used kits.

Each SME will be required to electronically submit their screening results after each occasion and will be recommended to screen staff twice weekly.

Reports to ministry

The accumulated data will be reported by CWCC to the Ministry of Health bimonthly.

If a test results in a preliminary positive for COVID-19, the employee will be required to leave the workplace, arrange for a PCR test within 24 hours at an approved COVID-19 assessment site, and self-isolate until a confirmed test result is received.

“Over 760,000 rapid tests will be going out to communities across Ontario with 28 of our chambers participating in rolling this program out,” added Rossi.