Shoppers Drug Mart has announced it is providing COVID-19 antigen screening options for businesses looking to safely reopen.
The rapid antigen tests can provide results within 15-20 minutes, which will provide an extra form of protection for both employees and consumers.
The antigen screening test can detect an active COVID-19 infection by detecting the presence of antigens—or specific proteins on a virus’s surface, and, while they’re less sensitive than PCR testing, they can enhance currently available public testing programs, and provide faster, more convenient options for employers.
“Getting through this pandemic will require a three-pronged strategy – following public health guidelines and recommendations, increased and frequent COVID-19 testing and screening, and vaccinations,” Ashesh Desai, executive vice president of Pharmacy and Healthcare for Shoppers Drug Mart, said in a news release.
“Providing convenient, accessible and affordable testing options for employers will become increasingly important as we look to reopen the economy while keeping employees and Canadians safe,” he continued.
Shoppers has two distinct programs, which are dependent on employers’ size, need, and location. In collaboration with the Government of Canada, employers of small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario hot spots with close-contact workplaces can now pick up rapid antigen testing kits at more than 40 Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies.
“Over the past year, businesses of all sizes have made significant changes to how they operate in order to keep their teams healthy, and their doors open wherever possible,” Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, said in the same release.
“As we manage through the third wave and challenging months ahead, rapid testing programs will allow small businesses another important tool to bring workers back safely and for Canadians to get back out with confidence. It’s a meaningful step to getting our economy back to normal,” he continued.