For immediate release: July 6, 2021
Rapid Testing Kits Available Through Chambers of Commerce
The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce and the Edmundston Region Chamber of Commerce today announced a plan to distribute free self-screening rapid testing kits to small- and medium-sized businesses and organizations throughout New Brunswick.
By regularly testing employees, the goal of the program is to provide an additional layer of protection that will help protect workers and clients alike - along with the livelihoods of small business owners by reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our workplaces and communities.
“By providing these free testing kits, we will not only keep people in our community safe but hope to assist our small- and medium-sized businesses get back on track after a very difficult year,” said John Wishart, CEO, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton.
Identification of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic workers through the program will allow workplaces to proactively identify cases of COVID-19 that may have otherwise been missed, supporting employee safety and business continuity.
“As Dr. Russell has talked about extensively, the Green phase of recovery is ‘living with COVID’, which means, as more New Brunswickers are vaccinated, future cases of COVID-19 are much more likely to be asymptomatic,” added Krista Ross, CEO of the Fredericton chamber. “Consistent workplace testing of those without symptoms will therefore become more of an important tool than in the early days of the pandemic.”
Data collection is also a key component of the program, and all participating businesses will need to submit their screening results regularly. This accumulated data will be reported to Health Canada and the New Brunswick Department of Health.
“We are pleased to offer these kits as part of a national program,” added Cathy Pelletier, Executive Director of the Edmundston Region Chamber of Commerce. “The rapid antigen screening kits do not replace the PCR tests administered by Public Health, but they are another tool in the toolbox companies can use to keep their employees and customers safe.”
The Chambers of Commerce Rapid Testing Initiative is part of the safe restart of the economy and made possible by the Government of Canada though Health Canada and the partnership and support of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce. The chambers have signed an agreement with the NB Department of Health to be the distributor of the kits in New Brunswick. All participating businesses and organizations must also sign a document with guidelines on how the rapid tests should be used.
“This workplace testing program is a great example of the collaborative work of the chambers of commerce in New Brunswick and throughout the country,” added David Duplisea, CEO of the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce. “Our respective organizations have worked closely together for many years and those relationships have served us well throughout the pandemic. This program would be a daunting proposition for any one of us, but by working together we are able to deliver this important tool to businesses and organizations.”
Businesses and organizations interested in accessing rapid test kits for their workplaces can do so by contacting the participating chamber of commerce closest to your area.
About the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce
The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, a nationally accredited organization with more than 1,000 members, is an active business organization engaged in policy development and advocacy that affects the competitiveness of our members and the Canadian business environment. The Chamber’s vision is ‘Stronger Community Through Business Prosperity’.
About the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton
The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton is a nationally accredited organization with close to 800 members. It is the voice of business in Greater Moncton and has a mandate to promote the individual and collective success of its members and community through member benefits, events and networking, and a strong advocacy focus.
About the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce
The Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce is a nationally accredited business organization dedicated to fostering an economic climate that enhances growth, prosperity, and an improved quality of life in the community. The Chamber is a dynamic advocate and the principal voice for the business community of Greater Saint John. It offers a variety of programs, activities, services, and networking opportunities designed to enhance the business prospects of members and the overall business climate of the area.
About the Edmundston Region Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1907, the Edmundston Region Chamber of Commerce is one of the oldest chambers of commerce in New Brunswick in addition to being the largest French-speaking chamber in the province. With nearly 400 members spread across the city of Edmundston and surrounding municipalities, its role is to represent the interests of its members, collaborate with community stakeholders and promote the economic and social development of the community.