Barrie businesses equipped with rapid COVID-19 test kits

Businesses in Barrie are utilizing rapid COVID-19 testing kits as an added layer of security and protection for staff and customers.

The Barrie Chamber of Commerce provided the asymptomatic testing kits, which are being used in restaurants, private schools and construction sites.

"It gives us kind peace of mind because if somebody comes in with a sniffle, we don't just send them home," said Colin Johnson, general manager of Donaleigh's Group of Restaurants.

Barrie Chamber of Commerce executive director Paul Markle said the antigen tests take about 15 minutes to get results and are 90 per cent effective in screening asymptomatic people for the virus.

"In Barrie right now, we have close to 40,000 screens that are out there and growing. It seems to be making people feel a lot safer about going into the workplace," Markle added.

Businesses using the rapid tests believe the kits could prove vital over the coming months, and the past president of the Ontario Medical Association agrees.

"Whether you're going to a gym, whether you're going to a movie theatre, whether you're going to a sports environment if you don't have a vaccine card, I think rapid testing is an alternative that works really well," said Dr. Sohail Gandhi.