Ontario expands access to rapid testing for workplaces
Maryam FaragHealth & Safety Industry Government COVID-19 government health and safety Ontario Rapid testing
The Ontario government has launched a new rapid testing portal to help essential businesses access free rapid testing.
Through the Provincial Antigen Screening Program, Ontario has delivered over nine million rapid testing kits to approximately 1,600 workplaces.
“To help stem the tide of the third wave and prevent workplace outbreaks, we launched the new rapid testing portal. We’re asking every business that’s able to be open, and particularly those in hot spots, to participate in Ontario’s COVID-19 Provincial Antigen Screening Program,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister, Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Join the nearly 300 essential industry sites that include rapid testing in their arsenal of safety measures to keep workers and their families safe.”
Businesses are encouraged to participate in the program by registering at ontario.ca/testingonsite. It provides rapid antigen screening kits to help screen for asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 that might otherwise be missed.
“This program complements our recently launched rapid testing initiative for small-and-medium-sized businesses through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, providing them with a useful tool in the fight against this pandemic,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister, Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “If your business is essential and open, ordering free rapid tests through your local chamber of commerce is another way to help keep transmission low and workers safe.”
In two weeks, Ontario has received orders for over 850,000 rapid tests.
As the results of positive PCR tests are reported to local public health units (PHUs) through the provincial lab network, the Ministry of Health is updating program requirements so organizations providing rapid antigen screening will no longer have to report preliminary positive results to PHUs, nor will they be required to report results of confirmatory lab-based PCR tests to the province.