Local businesses encouraged to participate in COVID-19 rapid test kit program

Jessica Colvin (left) and Karen Cross (right) of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce visit the rapid COVID-19 test distribution centre. Photo: Claire McLean Photography.

Over 500 area businesses have participated in the free COVID-19 rapid test kit program supplied by the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce and its partners, since its launch in May.

“We’re thankful for all those businesses which have taken this extra step to help protect their customers and employees and create business confidence during this critical time,” said Karen Cross, CEO of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce. “We’re now calling on those businesses which have yet to sign up to join us particularly as we head into the crucial and busy fall season.”

Step 4 of Ontario’s reopening plan is set to begin soon, increasing both gathering limits and the number of customers allowed indoors, according to a release from the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce. This is why the Chamber is asking all retail, gym, hospitality, personal care, and other small businesses who expect to have staff on their premises this September to sign up today to help ensure Kingstonians and visitors remain safe.

The Chamber worked closely with Alliance Security and Communications, the Rotary Club of Kingston, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to make this rapid test kit program a reality. Appointments to pick up test kits can be booked at chamberscreening.ca.

The test kits are free to any business with less than 150 employees in the greater Kingston area. A Chamber membership is not required. Each business will be able to pick up a two-week supply, allowing two tests per week per employee at a time, according to a press release from the Chamber.

The distribution centre for the test kits is located at the Alliance Business Centre, 299 Concession Street in Kingston. The centre is operated by volunteers from Kingston’s local Rotary clubs between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday to Thursday, though pick-ups will be by appointment only. While medical training is not required for the test kits, a brief five-minute training video is provided ahead of the test kit pick-up appointments.

Participating businesses will be required to track and report all results weekly to the Chamber, and those results will be shared with the Ontario and federal Ministries of Health. Businesses are also required to report positive or inconclusive cases to KFL&A Public Health. For more details, or to book an appointment, visit chamberscreening.ca.

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