- Rapid antigen tests detect certain proteins in the virus to confirm if it is present. A sample is collected using a swab in the nose and/or throat or nasopharynx (behind your nose and above the back of your throat).
- Results from your rapid antigen test will be ready in about 15 minutes.
- Shelf-life of 12 months for rapid antigen tests
- If you are an unvaccinated or partially vaccinated close contact of a probable case (i.e., a case who received a positive rapid testing result), you must self-quarantine while PCR results are pending.
- Rapid antigen tests are available for screening people with no symptoms (asymptomatic).
- If employees were recently vaccinated, should they participate in Rapid Antigen Testing?
- As per Ministry of Health guidance, rapid antigen testing is not recommended for individuals who are fully vaccinated (i.e. more than 14 days after receiving their final dose). The likelihood of COVID-19 is low for fully vaccinated individuals, which reduces the usefulness of screening. Screening guidance is subject to change based on direction by the provincial government. Screening fully vaccinated individuals is not recommended. However, workplaces may decide to include vaccinated individuals in their screening policy.
How frequently should you test?
- According to Ontario’s Ministry Of Health guidelines, frequent testing is recommended. There is inadequate evidence around the optimal frequency of antigen POCT, however screening may be performed at least one timer per week, and up to 2-3 times per week for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
- At worksites – On-the-spot tests that can be done individually and transported around a building
- Testing centres including pharmacies – over 2000 across Canada
- At home with an At-Home Test Kit
- Anyone who is “trained” can perform a test
- Rapid antigen tests can be performed by health professionals or any individual who is trained (including self-swabbing). Any individual is considered trained when they have consulted the appropriate training materials.
- Organizations (i.e., workplaces) that participate in rapid testing assume any operational, medical, and/or legal responsibilities relating to this initiative.
• When ordering tests, you will have an option to choose between two tests, Abbott PanbioTM or BD VeritorTM. Only one type of test can be ordered and administered at a time for each participating site
• Abbott PanbioTM are single use test kits that meet the needs of most organizations. This test kit works well for low and high testing volumes and is recommended for organizations with multiple testing sites, and for organizations implementing at-home self-screening programs as it is a self-read device.
• BD VeritorTM test kits require a small analyzer machine, which is provided. This test kit is recommended for organizations with high testing volumes and a limited number of testing sites.
• At-home test kits are now available for current employees, who need to participate in the rapid testing program due to their vaccination status. If you are fully vaccinated, please refrain from collecting a test kit. Each kit contains 25 tests, and will last approximately 3 months if you are going to work five days a week.
• For qualifying businesses, Ontario and BC sources provide for free rapid testing kits, such as the Provincial Antigen Screening Program portal or by contacting a participating local chamber of commerce or board of trade
FREE TEST PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY FOR EMPLOYERS
1. Is your organization or business allowed to be open right now? YES
2. Do you require staff to be on-site? YES
3. How many employees do you have? 150 or less
• Health, children, community and social services
• Industry or private sector (such as manufacturing, transportation, grocery and restaurants)
Categories: (not a full list)
- Agriculture and Landscaping
- Food Processors and Supply Chain
- Warehousing, Distribution, Transportation
- Airlines and Airports
- Trucking, Rail and Intermodal Facilities
- Manufacturing and Supply Chain
- Postsecondary Education (Public and Private)
- Tourism and Hospitality
- To buy in Ontario Rapid Antigen test kits: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/antigen-testing-services-directory?field_testing_kits_value=1&field_rapidtest_city_target_id=All#directory
- Shoppers Drug Mart TESTING across Canada – $40 PER on-site TEST or test kit
- Walmart $19.97 per onsite test – link here for testing sites – https://www.walmart.ca/cp/shop/asymptomatic-covid-testing/6000203002155
- Participating pharmacies: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-test-and-testing-location-information#pharmacy
· For more information on the use of rapid antigen tests, please visit the COVID-19covid 19 Guidance: Considerations for Antigen Point-of-Care Testing.
· COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Testing Onboarding Guide Version 4 – September 24, 2021: https://www.ontariohealth.ca/sites/ontariohealth/files/2021-03/Panbio%20Onboarding%20Guide%20V1%20Feb%2017%202021%20EnglishTM.pdf