Waterloo Launches "StaySafe" COVID-19 Rapid Screening Pilot Program
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Waterloo Launches “StaySafe” COVID-19 Rapid Screening Pilot Program

StaySafe point-of-care tests will help keep workers safe in small and medium sized businesses

The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is launching the StaySafe™ COVID-19 Rapid Screening Pilot in the Waterloo Region. The StaySafe™ program will provide free rapid antigen point-of-care tests for employees of small- and medium-sized businesses, with a target of 3,000 rapid tests conducted each week in the region. The program will help detect cases of COVID-19 in the workplace that might otherwise be missed, helping to keep workers and their families safe.

“By expanding rapid testing to small- and medium-sized businesses and making it easier to administer, we will be able to keep people working and safe,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. Through this program rapid testing is provided to workplaces for asymptomatic staff in key sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing, supply chain, mining, construction and food processing.

Approximately 5.7 million rapid antigen tests have been sent to over 1,150 workplaces, including 100 essential industry sites, under the Provincial Antigen Screening Program. To further encourage the use of these tests, additional outreach will occur to employers in regions with highest rates of transmission to increase access to testing, and the process for enrollment in the screening program will be streamlined to allow for quick access to these supports.

“Our government is committed to providing greater flexibility and innovative testing options to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

Organizations participating in the Provincial Antigen Screening Program can now search for a service provider offering point-of-care rapid testing services through a new directory on the Ontario Together website. Service providers offering point-of-care COVID-19 testing services can also apply to be listed.

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