Local business owners now have access to an additional tool in the fight against COVID-19, as the Cambridge and Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chambers of Commerce announced Tuesday the roll-out of a new pilot program that aims to put rapid COVID-19 antigen screening kits in the hands of our small and medium sized business - free of charge.
Made possible with assistance from local innovation hub Communitech and the federal government, business owners can now place orders for screening kits through the chamber check website, to organize a pick-up of self screening kits at the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. Striving to keep business owners, their employees and customers safe, Greater KW Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Ian McLean said he and his partners have been striving for this sort of program since last Spring, as he called the tool a part of the answer to reopening local businesses – and keeping them open.
“The importance of this between now and when we have full vaccination is… we need to identify those that are sick before they look or feel like their sick.” said McLean. “These screening tests can be done a couple of times a week in these small or medium sized businesses – and if screening shows there might be a positive case, they can go to public health, self isolate and make sure we contain the spread of the virus.”
According to McLean, the tests are less intrusive than what’s typically seen with a swab being driven into an individual’s nose – with results received in as little as 15 minutes. McLean adds that the program is a pilot project for our business community, as he said he’s hopeful the results will be transferrable to other communities across the province and across the country.
“There’s a healthy supply of these,” said McLean. “We want this to be something where there’s a lot of interest and businesses are taking advantage of this. It’s one of those important tools to get us through until we get to mass vaccination and we have this COVID in the rear view mirror.”
Information on how businesses can place orders for these screening kits, as well as further information on how to protect staff and customers from the spread of COVID-19 can be found on the Cambridge and Greater KW of Commerce’s Chamber Check website.