KITCHENER -- It's being touted as a 'first-of-its kind program' where city buses have been retro-fitted to serve as a mobile rapid COVID-19 screening facility for small and mid-sized businesses.

The idea was created in Waterloo Region where it will be tested before being shared across Canada.

The project, dubbed the StaySafe pilot, received a $430,000 grant from the federal government, as part of a $19-billion commitment help provinces and territories safely restart their economies and make the country more resilient to COVID-19 surges.

There are currently three specially wrapped buses on loan from the GRT that will drive to a business and screen employees.

The screening takes about 15 minutes and the region hopes to be able to screen around 3,000 essential workers per week.

Businesses wishing to take-part can check in with the Cambridge or Greater KW Chamber of Commerce.

Last week, it was reported that hundreds of local businesses also signed up to receive a free supply of COVID-19 screening kits through the local chambers of commerce.