Small and medium-sized businesses in Brampton will soon be able to detect if employees might have COVID in a quick, inexpensive way.
Dubbed StaySafe, the goal of the partnership among the City of Brampton, RIC Centre and Communitech is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and restart local economy with rapid screening.
Rapid antigen screening is a quick way to help identify asymptomatic COVID-19 cases before they lead to workplace outbreaks. Identifying asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals early is an effective way of limiting spread within both workplaces and the community. StaySafe provides access to rapid screening kits so that businesses can administer a workplace screening program.
Funded by the federal and provincial governments, the StaySafe program is free for all businesses with fewer than 150 employees who can’t work from home or physically distance while at work.
“Partnerships and innovative thinking will play a key role in us navigating life safely as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Martin Medeiros, regional councillor wards 3 and 4. “Through our collaborative effort with RIC Centre and Communitech and the use of rapid testing for small and medium-sized businesses, we will continue to protect Bramptonians and our dedicated workers in Brampton, while supporting our local businesses.”
The rapid antigen point-of-care screening test allows employees to check themselves before work and see the results of that test within minutes. If an employee tests positive, an employer can then send them to the nearest COVID centre for more conclusive testing, without running the risk of exposing other employees to the virus.
The opportunity is open to Brampton organizations with 150 or fewer employees. Training and registration is required for participation in the program. Organizations can learn more about the program and sign up here.
Businesses with more than 150 employees can order directly from the Ontario government portal.
“The RIC Centre is proud to be a partner on this project, which aims to help protect more of our community,” said Pam Banks, RIC Centre executive director. “It’s programs like StaySafe that are helping bridge the gap between returning to a sense of normalcy and staying safe while doing so. As an innovation catalyst for change, RIC Centre looks forward to watching this program unfold and encourages all eligible organizations to sign up.”
Under Step One of the Province’s Roadmap to Reopen, non-essential retail is permitted at 15 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold, and essential and other select retail is permitted at 25 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold. As businesses prepare to reopen, rapid antigen testing will not only help protect workers, but will also help Brampton residents feel confident entering local businesses.