Sault Ste. Marie, ON
– The Algoma Vaccination Support Council (AVSC) is pleased to announce that it will begin distributing Rapid Antigen Screening Kits for small businesses with less than 150 employees starting on Monday, June 21st.
“The screening kits are being provided by the federal and provincial governments complimentary to small- and medium-sized businesses as an additional tool to help keep workplaces in Ontario safe,” says Rory Ring, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce. “The distribution of kits in Ontario is being spearheaded by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Ontario’s Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade network. Here in the Sault, we are launching the program under the banner of our Algoma Vaccination Support Council, which was started by our Chamber, the STRIVE Young Professionals Group, and more than 40 local businesses and agencies.”
A COVID-19 rapid screening test can be performed anywhere (e.g., on-site or 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.
Kits are available for order on the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce website at www.ssmcoc.com/rapid-antigen-screening-kits
. Prior to ordering, businesses will be required to designate a Screening Supervisor who will be responsible for ordering kits, managing the business’s screening efforts, and reporting results. The Screening Supervisor will be required to familiarize themselves with the overall screening process and watch a training video on how to administer the tests.
Businesses will be required to schedule a time for pick-up when they order their screening kits online. Kits will be available for pickup at the GFL Memorial Gardens on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. When picking up, drivers are asked to pull up to the curb in front of the player’s entrance (south-west side of the building), ensure that they are wearing a mask and not exit the vehicle. Volunteers will confirm the order and bring the kits to the vehicle.
To help with the distribution of the kits and promotion of the program, the AVSC has partnered with the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the Soo Greyhounds Hockey Club.
“As the Province continues to progress through Step 1 of reopening, we must continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support the safe reopening of local businesses. The addition of Rapid Antigen Screening Kits for small businesses allows workplaces in our community to proactively identify cases of COVID-19 that may have otherwise been missed, contributing to employee safety and the safety of our community,” says Sault Ste. Marie Mayor, Christian Provenzano.
“The Soo Greyhounds organization is pleased to be a partner and support this initiative announced by AVSC today. Over the past fifteen months, our community (businesses and residents alike) have been tremendous in the manner in which they have handled these unusual times, and we are proud to show our support in any manner we can. This is
another positive step towards returning to all of the things that residents of the Soo know and love,” adds Tim Lukenda, President of the Soo Greyhounds Hockey Club.
The latest information from Health Canada suggests that up to one-third of people carrying the virus are asymptomatic causing little or no noticeable signs, however, over 50% of known cases were transmitted by an asymptomatic carrier. This makes it incredibly important to find asymptomatic carriers in order to combat the spread and get to more normalized community life. Rapid Antigen Screening by businesses, and in workplaces, is a key part of that equation.