• Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Making it Easier to Administer Rapid COVID-19 Testing in the Workplace

March 17, 2021

TORONTO - The Ontario government is making it easier for businesses to test for COVID-19 in the workplace by providing guidance to employees who want to self-swab for a rapid antigen point-of-care test on a voluntary basis under the supervision of a trained individual. Based on the success of the initial deployment of rapid antigen testing, the government is also expanding the program to more sectors including first responders, emergency medical services, trucking and transportation, wastewater management, and post-secondary institutions. "By expanding rapid testing in the workplace and making it easier to administer, we will be able to maintain critical infrastructure and keep people working," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "These measures are essential to further protect Ontario's workforce as we work together towards a swift recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, stronger and more resilient before." Rapid antigen testing can provide an additional layer of safety in workplaces and provide reassurance to employers and employees alike. By clinically endorsing supervised, voluntary self-swabbing for asymptomatic individuals, Ontario is helping businesses reduce the administrative costs of using antigen tests by allowing staff to consider the option of taking their own swabs under the supervision of a trained individual. "Business owners know best what their businesses need to thrive. These changes will make rapid antigen testing a particularly viable option for the small- and medium-sized companies critical in keeping our province's manufacturing and supply chain moving," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister for Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. The province has also removed regulatory barriers governing the use of COVID-19 tests that are approved by Health Canada for point-of