Airdrie Chamber of Commerce to provide COVID-19 rapid tests to local businesses
The Airdrie Chamber of Commerce has announced it will be providing complimentary COVID-19 rapid testing kits to local businesses that apply.
“We wanted to do more to assist our business community with keeping the work environment safe for their employees – and of course, clients,” said Marilyne Aalhus, executive director with the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce.
Aalhus said the initiative came about after a conversation took place between representatives from the provincial government and the Alberta Chambers of Commerce.
“They reached out to local chambers to see if this was something we would be able to assist with,” she said.
Despite more people continuing to get vaccinated, Aalhus said the ongoing health restrictions have still been overwhelming for many businesses. She added being able to provide support in the form of rapid COVID-19 testing is important.
“This gives the opportunity to businesses of all sizes to supply rapid testing for their employees,” she said.
The test kits include Abbott Panbio nasal swabs and can be easily administered by employers. The tests, according to the Airdrie Chamber’s website, can return results in 15 to 20 minutes – much faster than traditional or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 testing.
The goal with the rapid testing kits, according to Aalhus, is to ensure employees who may have the virus can avoid entering the workplace, thus avoiding the risk of spreading COVID-19 among their peers or clientele.
“You would come up with a process to test employees on arrival,” she said. “If the test is positive, you would of course send the employee home, where they would then go through the normal testing process like any other Albertan.”
While the kits are available to all local businesses, there are several requirements to take note of. According to an Airdrie Chamber of Commerce press release, businesses can apply by filling out a form that is available at airdriechamber.ab.ca. Tests need to be requested in multiples of 25, and once entered into the agreement, the applying business is responsible for the program at their workplace.
Additionally, the organization must provide a weekly report every Monday to the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce. Failure to do so will result in ineligibility to receive additional tests, the release added.
Though the initiative was just announced, Aalhus said she understands some businesses may be hesitant to participate.
“They are nervous because they feel if there are positive cases the business may be closed,” she said. “This step is actually to avoid that from happening. This is one more reassurance for your staff, but also for customers.”
For more information and to apply for the program, visit airdriechamber.ab.ca/rapidtestkits