Volunteers needed to staff Chamber rapid test distribution centre

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.

The Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce is looking for volunteers to help staff their COVID-19 rapid test distribution centre.

Since the spring, the local Chamber has been distributing free rapid COVID-19 test kits to eligible businesses and organizations thanks to a partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

According to a release from the organization, this program has been supported by numerous local Chamber members, and staffed by Chamber employees and volunteers from the Rotary Clubs of Kingston. The Chamber said that approximately 1,100 organizations have participated since the program’s inception.

With the rising COVID-19 case counts in the KFL&A region, there is an increased demand for rapid test kits. The Chamber will ensure its full shipment of kits are distributed to any eligible organization wishing to pick up kits while supplies last.

“This testing program provides another tool in the toolbox of businesses as they try to keep their staff and customers, and by extension our community, safe this fall and winter,” said Karen Cross, CEO of the Greater Kingston Chamber. “As Dr. Oglaza has said, most spread of COVID is not happening in businesses and restaurants and it is because of efforts like this. It’s critical we continue to shop local so our local businesses can survive and thrive during this difficult holiday season.”

In order to meet the increased demand from businesses and organizations, the Chamber is seeking volunteers who can help staff the distribution centre. According to the release, the main volunteer duties will involve paper and computer work, and being present in the centre to distribute tests. The Chamber said that volunteers will not be testing individuals themselves, or training individuals to use the tests, and there is no anticipated extraordinary risk of exposure to COVID.

Individuals with symptoms or seeking to be tested for COVID-19 are instructed not to attend the distribution centre, and the test distribution centre is not a testing centre, the Chamber stated. Residents are reminded to contact KFL&A Public Health or a local pharmacy (as appropriate) when seeking COVID-19 testing.

Volunteers who are available in the two weeks leading up to Christmas for shifts anytime during Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. should please contact Chamber CEO Karen Cross at [email protected].

For more program details, and information on the rapid test kit program, visit chamberscreening.ca.

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