'A real tool that will have a real impact': Asymptomatic testing helping small businesses
WATERLOO -- There are three buses around Waterloo Region performing rapid COVID-19 antigen tests as a part of the "Stay Safe Screening" initiative for asymptomatic people.
There is a bus in Kitchener, one in Waterloo and the third is in Cambridge.
“We're focused on helping to put in place serial testing programs or serial screening which focuses on asymptomatic or people who don't have symptoms, and getting them testing to find COVID-19 before they can infect other people,” said Iain Klugman, the CEO of Communitech, the company behind the initiative.
The initial focus is making tests available to small businesses, according to Klugman.
“It's important for Uptown Waterloo, downtown businesses, businesses in the suburbs to be able to get out and reopen,” said Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky.
According to Klugman, they are working with local chambers of commerce to provide kits directly to small businesses along with an instructional video. Visiting one of the bus locations is also an option. Bus locations change daily on their website. staysafescreen.ca
Registration is available online beforehand or on-site at one of the bus locations.
People taking a test on one of the busses are directed inside, and walked through how to take the self-administered test. Results can come back in as little as 15 minutes to the email you registered with.
“It's not a scary test at all. It’s no worse than blowing your nose,” said Nick Benninger, the chef and co-owner of Fat Sparrow Group and Taco Farm. “You can really see how it's going to be usable and applicable in the field. It's accessibility with these busses and them being available in the workplaces, it's a real tool that will have a real impact.”
Alnoor Keschvani, the owner of The Loop, said as a business owner, he see this as another lifeline.
“It's another positive initiative that's going to get us to where we're going quicker.”
The long-term goal is to make rapid tests available to anyone who wants one.