Some of Canada’s largest companies are joining together for a pilot project to screen their employees for COVID-19 before they enter the office.

Called the ‘Rapid Screening Consortium,’ it sees 12 different companies including Air Canada, Loblaws, Magna, Scotiabank and Suncor administer a rapid COVID-19 screening test twice a week to employees who volunteer to be tested. Those who sign up will be screened before entering their workplace and will receive the results within 15 minutes.

The project was spearheaded by Creative Destruction Lab at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and Professor Janice Stein.

Stein tells 680 NEWS that the project is aimed at making essential workplaces safer.

“This is an attempt to make those people who are actually at a work site feel safer and be safer because their colleagues that are with them are being screened on a voluntary basis twice a week,” she said.

The rapid screening tests are from Health Canada and use a light nasal swab administered by a health professional. Employees will wait to get the result before entering their workplaces. The screening is not meant to replace mask wearing or social distancing, but is intended as an extra layer of protection.

The program relies on volunteer signups, but the Consortium says it is hopeful that it can increase the level of participation to a point where it becomes meaningful.


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