Written by Naya Goguen, Rapid Test Program Coordinator
“Living with COVID.” This is the province’s newest slogan, and you may have already heard the phrase in reference to the long-awaited Phase 3 of New Brunswick’s “Path to Green” – representing the removal of the Province’s mandatory order and related Public Health restrictions. The much-anticipated return is just around the corner thanks to vaccination numbers going up and case numbers going down, but the reality is that COVID still won’t be fully absent from our community.
Even as the number of vaccinated New Brunswickers continues to rise, we still face certain risks. It is possible for vaccinated individuals to contract COVID and to never show symptoms, however; they still risk transmitting the virus to others. In preparation for a potential uptick in asymptomatic cases, various chambers of commerce across Canada are distributing free COVID-19 rapid self-screening tests to small- and medium-sized businesses in their area to regularly test some or all of their employees. In New Brunswick, these chambers are the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton, the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce, and the Edmundston Region Chamber of Commerce.
These rapid tests do not replace the lab-based tests administered by Public Health. Instead, they are meant as a screening tool for asymptomatic individuals to help our community catch the virus before it spreads.
Completing a rapid test is not only a quick process, but it’s also very straightforward!
Simply swab your nose, place the swab in the test tube with a bit of buffering agent, then place a few drops on the plastic testing device. Wait fifteen minutes and you have a result! Any individual that receives a positive rapid test must immediately leave the worksite and contact Public Health to get a lab-based PCR COVID test.
Participating in the program is easy. Every business must sign an agreement in which they commit to testing at least twice a week and to reporting results to their local chamber. These numbers will then be communicated to New Brunswick Public Health by the chamber.
We hope that these rapid testing kits can be a useful tool in helping control the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and in our community at large, allowing businesses to continue to offer their services at safely as possible.
To participate, please visit the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce website https://www.frederictonchamber.ca/covid-19-rapid-testing/ for further details.
If you still have questions, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.