Working together, St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce, TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario and Paperwork Labs, in partnership with the Ontario and Canadian governments, has launched The StaySafe™ Elgin Rapid Antigen Screening Program. Through this initiative, small and medium-sized businesses throughout Elgin County can engage in self-administered rapid antigen screening for asymptomatic employees. Rapid antigen screening is another tool to help open our economy and keep it open.
The StaySafe™ Elgin Rapid Antigen Screening Program will provide free rapid antigen tests for employees of small and medium-sized businesses, with 150 employees or less. The goal of the program 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 in the community.
“The talent, tenacity and resiliency of our local business community has been on full display throughout the pandemic. The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to offer all local businesses, members or not, access to free COVID-19 Rapid Screening tests for small and medium-sized businesses in our community. This important tool, which will help to disrupt the spread of the disease, is only possible through our collaboration with the federal and provincial governments, as well as the support of some incredible Chamber members like Libro, Graham Scott Enns and TechAlliance,” said Paul Jenkins, CEO, St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce.
Business owners must place orders for screening kits online at StaySafeElgin.ca The kits will be offered free of cost thanks to the Federal and Provincial governments, giving businesses direct access to screening kits to implement rapid screening programs for their employees. Businesses who have ordered kits will receive a two-week supply, based on twice-weekly screening of their employees – frequent screening with rapid antigen tests increases the chances of early identification of cases in otherwise asymptomatic individuals. The pain-free rapid screening test can be performed at the place of employment and does not require shipping a specimen to a lab for processing. It takes approximately 15 minutes to yield a result.
“In our efforts to recover quickly, rapid antigen testing is essential to help keep businesses, employees and their families safe. Working closely with St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce and Paperwork Labs we are able to collaboratively expedite StaySafe™ Elgin as an important tool to curb the spread of COVID-19,” said Christina Fox, CEO, TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario.
Screening with rapid tests provides an extra layer of defence against the spread of the virus by identifying people who are not showing symptoms of infection but maybe carrying COVID-19 into their workplaces and communities. These initiatives are an important tool for detecting cases of COVID-19 but are not a substitute for current safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing a mask, hand washing, and staying home if sick.
Elgin’s StaySafe™ Pick Up Headquarters is located at the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce office and is made possible by funding from the Digital Main Street program, with support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and the Government of Ontario.
“StaySafe™ Lambton, will help small and medium-sized businesses across Southwestern Ontario and will help keep workers and their families safe. Adding rapid antigen testing to the arsenal of safety measures for small and medium-sized businesses is an important step to prevent workplace outbreaks.”
– The Honourable Victor Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
“The collaboration of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce, TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario and Paperwork Labs through StaySafe™ Elgin will give businesses the tools to help open our economy and keep it open.” – Mayor Joe Preston, City of St. Thomas