Orillia Chamber rolling out free rapid tests to small and medium-sized businesses

Chambers of Commerce in Muskoka also participating

The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce (ODC) and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario and Canadian governments, have launched a COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative.

Through this initiative, the ODC will roll out free rapid tests for small and medium-sized businesses in Orillia and Muskoka. For the Muskoka program, tests are being shipped and warehoused first in Orillia, and then distributed to each Muskoka Chamber. Businesses then make an appointment to pick up tests from their closest Chamber.

“Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade have been indispensable resources in their communities since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Public health and the health of our economy are interdependent. That is why our Chamber is proud to distribute rapid tests to small businesses in Orillia and Lake Country. We hope that through this program, we will be able to curb the spread and reopen our local economy safely,” said Bill Ecklund, President of the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce.

Businesses (including non-chamber members) with 150 or fewer employees 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.

The initiative was successfully piloted in the Waterloo region by the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Communitech, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada. Through this pilot, the Chambers have delivered 120,000 kits to nearly 1,400 businesses in the region. This means that up to 30,000 employees in essential workplaces are receiving regular screening twice weekly in the Waterloo region alone. The COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative builds upon the success of this existing program and delivers tests into the hands of small and medium-sized businesses across the province.

If a test results in a preliminary positive for COVID-19, the employee will be required to leave the workplace, arrange for a PCR Test within 24 hours at an approved COVID-19 assessment site, and self-isolate until a confirmatory test result is received.

In Orillia, tests can be ordered from www.RapidTestOrillia.com.