Covid 19 Rapid Testing Frequently Asked Questions
Why do this?
The latest information from Health Canada suggests that up to 1/3 of people carrying the virus are asymptomatic causing little or no noticeable signs, however, over 50% of known cases were transmitted by an asymptomatic carrier. This makes it incredibly important to find asymptomatic carriers in order to combat the spread and get to more normalized community life. A COVID-19 rapid screening test can be performed anywhere (e.g. on-site, at the place of employment) and does not require shipping a specimen to a lab for processing. It takes approximately 15 minutes to yield a result. Frequent screening with rapid antigen tests increases the chances of early identification of cases in asymptomatic individuals. Recommended frequency is at least twice per employee, per week. Ontario has also released guidance for organizations that choose to participate in COVID-19 testing that falls outside of the public health care system, to ensure there is appropriate oversight and consumer protection and that public resources are supporting public health initiatives.
Who can businesses give screening kits to and who can we screen?
The rapid tests are ONLY for use with your employees that are coming to the workplace. You cannot screen anyone else other than employees coming to the workplace. Employees do have the right to refuse.
What is the accuracy of these screens?
These are highly accurate in the range of 90% accurate, however there are circumstances where they may show a false positive or false negative.
How do we dispose of the waste?
The test pad, the vial containing buffer fluid and the used swab are considered hazardous waste so please keep in a hazardous waste container. When you are coming to pick-up your refill orders The Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce has a hazardous material disposal bin for you to use.
How is the screening administered, through the nostril or mouth?
Rapid Antigen Screening is a Nasal swab and not evasive. The instruction videos for all three brands of tests (Abbott-Panbio, BTNX and Roche) can be found on the Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce website www.windsoressexchamber.org
How many staff can go to pick up and train for the screening kits?
Due to safety protocols we are limiting in-person visits to the facility. Please send ONLY one person to pick up kits.
Can I just drop in and pick up kits for refills of my order?
We MUST insist that you book an appointment time through our online system at WEstaysafe.ca For the safety of our staff it is important to keep the number of people down to reduce the opportunity of close contact. This will also enable us to have your order ready for you.
What is the next step if an employee has a Positive or Inconclusive result?
Who can perform the screen on the employees?
The Ontario Government authorizes “self” screening using these kits. However, the Screening Supervisor who has been trained via the emailed video is the person designated to supervise the process . No one other than the employee themselves should perform the swab procedure on any employee - the supervisor is there to instruct and ensure the procedure is followed for an accurate result.
Can I show my supervisors how to do the screens, have them watch the video to have them supervise the screens?
At this point the Ministry of Health requires that a trained individual supervises the screening process. You will receive an email after your initial pick up, contained in that email is a link to the training video to train yourself /or train other supervisors.
Do I have to report the results of the tests?
Reporting is no longer required. The Ministry of Health has dropped this requirement.
What is the frequency we should be screening our employees?
The recommendation from public health is that all employees should be screened a minimum of twice per week. It is understood in some settings or with a higher frequency of close contact that some businesses will want to screen more than twice per week. Please advise us at the Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce and we will try our best to accommodate you. We need to ensure we have the required supply of kits at our office.
Do these kits have an expiry date?
Yes, they do have an expiry date. Please check the side of the test kit box for the expiry date. (NOTE: The Abbott-Panbio kits have had the expiry date extended for one year longer than the expiry date on the box. If you are using the BTNX brand of tests the expiry date on the box is the valid expiry date. The Roche Canada brand of test kits has a yellow sticker on the kit indicating the ‘new extended expiry date’. Using the kits after they expire cannot be assumed to have the accuracy they do prior to expiry. Caution should be taken to review the box and ensure they are not expired.