Thunder Bay – BUSINESS – The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario and Canadian governments, have launched the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative. Through this initiative, the Thunder Bay Chamber will provide free rapid tests for small- and medium-sized businesses in the community.
“Public health and the health of our economy are intertwined. That is why our chamber is proud to distribute rapid tests to our small businesses. We hope that through this program, we will be able to curb the spread and reopen our local economy safely,” said Charla Robinson, President of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce.
The COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative will provide free rapid antigen tests for employees of small and medium-sized businesses. Businesses (including non-chamber members) with 150 employees or less are welcome to participate in this program. 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 around the community in Thunder Bay.
Bryan Wilson, General Manager LDI Mine, Impala Canada says, “Supporting community efforts to protect against the virus has been a priority for Impala Canada throughout the pandemic. As the region continues to manage the third wave of this pandemic on the ground, we have provided $8,000 to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce to support the logistics of their new COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative. This program provides free rapid tests for small- and medium-sized businesses in the community.
“From what we understand, we were one of the first industrial workplaces in Ontario to implement rapid COVID-19 testing when we launched our own pilot program in the Fall of last year. And we have since joined the Ontario Government’s Antigen Screening Program for essential industrial sites. As an early adopter, we understand the importance of rapid testing to reduce workplace transmission and curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community as we wait for the full completion of vaccination roll out.”
“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. “Over 760,000 rapid tests will be going out to communities across Ontario with 28 of our chambers participating in rolling this program out.”
Interested SMEs can go to www.tbchamber.ca/rapidtest to sign up for the program and order their two-week supply of rapid tests.