RAPID ANTIGEN SCREENING KIT

The COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative provides free rapid antigen tests for employees of small and medium-sized businesses. The tests are distributed through the Huron Chamber of Commerce – Goderich, Central and North Huron in a program supported by Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Government of Ontario and Government of Canada. Businesses (including non-chamber members) with 150 employees or less are welcome to participate in this program, along with daycares, private schools and private colleges where testing is mandated. The goal of the program is to identify asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace that might otherwise be missed, helping to curb the spread in the workplace, at home and around the community in Goderich and area. 

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE ORDERING

  1. Fill out the “Order Self Screening Kits” report.
  2. Once order is received and packaged you will be notified by The Huron Chamber of Commerce – Goderich, Central and North Huron. Please do not visit the pickup site until your time for pickup has been scheduled.
  3. Each company should assign a Screening Supervisor Designate , who will be the contact person.
  4. If you have multiple businesses, please fill out one form per business.

GUIDANCE ON PERFORMING THE RAPID ANTIGEN SCREENING

  • Kits may be used on symptomatic and asymptomatic people. It is suggested tests be completed three or more times weekly.
  • Data suggests the performance of RATs may not be as good at detecting Omicron compared to previous variants, but swabbing the inside of the cheek and the back of the tongue or throat, as well as the nose, increases the sensitivity of rapid tests in detecting Omicron.
    • The Ontario Science Advisory Table has posted video demonstrating the current recommendation on sample collection:
    COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test: Sample Collection for Omicron – YouTube
    Note: This video begins by saying “there is no direct evidence” that performing a test with both throat and nasal swabs is better. Since the video was posted on February 7, 2022, more studies are showing this increases effectiveness. Current research shows that:
    o Omicron is more likely to be detected in the throat
    o Delta and other variants are more likely to be detected in the nasal cavity.

REPORTING YOUR RESULTS

Businesses and organizations receiving rapid tests are no longer required to report their results back to Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade.

REMINDER

**For information on what to do if you test positive in a rapid antigen screening, please check here.

When we have kits available, the Workplace Self Screening Kits program operates on Wednesday mornings starting at 10 am. All pickups are by appointment only. Pick ups are in Goderich

Got a question about the workplace self screening kits? Email kits@huronchamber.ca

Use of RATs for Asymptomatic Screening

• How often should individuals be tested?
o 3 or more times per week. (Previous recommendation: 2-3 per week.)

• Where can tests be performed?
o Testing may be conducted at the workplace or at home prior to travel to the workplace.
• Who can be tested?
o Employees, regular contractors, regular volunteers and regular visitors of local businesses and community organizations.
o Owners of home-based businesses, including household members and others consistently in the space used for business.
o Employees and students of private career colleges (post-secondary) required to be on campus.
o Staff of private schools (K-12 schools).

• Are vaccinated individuals eligible for asymptomatic screening?
o Asymptomatic screening can be implemented on a voluntary basis for all eligible individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
o Vaccinated individuals are eligible for asymptomatic screening.
o Note: Early on in the use of RATs, with limited data available, there was a concern that vaccinated individuals might trigger a higher rate of false positives than unvaccinated individuals. This has not been confirmed by the data now available.
o A positive RAT should be considered confirmation of COVID, regardless of vaccination status.

• When can asymptomatic testing resume after recovering from COVID?
o An individual with a confirmed COVID-19 on a RAT (or PCR test) may resume asymptomatic screening 30 days after a COVID-19 infection.

Use of RATs by Symptomatic Individuals

• A positive RAT is highly indicative that a symptomatic individual has COVID-19 and the individual is required to self-isolate. Members of their household do not need to self-isolate if:
o Household members have previously tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days
o Household members that are 18+ and have received their booster dose
o Household members that are under 18 years old and are fully vaccinated.

Household members should still take precautions for 10 days after exposure and:

o Self monitor for symptoms
o Wear a mask and avoid activities where mask removal would be necessary
o Not visit anyone who is at higher risk of illness,
o Not visit or attend work in highest risk settings (unless they have previously tested positive in the past 90 days)

If two consecutive RATs, separated by 24-48 hours, are both negative, the symptomatic individual is less likely to be infected, and the individual is advised to self-isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms).

“One-off” Use of RATs

• One-off testing (e.g. before a social gathering) by people not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and without a known exposure is generally not recommended.
• However, if a rapid antigen test is used in this way, it should be completed as close to the event as possible (e.g. ideally within a few hours of the event) and know that a negative result could be a false negative.

COVID Self-Isolation Guidelines

• Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 OR tested positive on a COVID- 19 test should self-isolate immediately.
• If self-isolation is complete after 5 days, the following guidelines should be followed, regardless of vaccination status or age:
o Do continue to wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings.
o Do not visit anyone who is immunocompromised or at higher risk of illness.
o Do not visit any highest-risk settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, or correctional institutions.

These guidelines should be followed for 10 days from the onset of symptoms:

News

Huron Chamber of Commerce rolling out free rapid tests to small businesses

GODERICH –  Today, the Huron Chamber of Commerce – Goderich, Central and North Huron and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce – Read More

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