COVID-19 rapid test kits available for Ottawa Valley businesses

A photo of downtown Arnprior. (Dylan Dyson / CTV News Ottawa)

Businesses in the Ottawa Valley are set to receive a helpful tool as they work towards reopening.

COVID-19 rapid testing kits are being made available to small and medium-sized businesses by the Greater Arnprior, Renfrew & Area, and Upper Ottawa Valley Chambers of Commerce.

“The plan is, let’s avoid further government shutdowns,” says Danielle Delaney, the Executive Director of the Greater Arnprior Chamber of Commerce. “So we’re going to be putting these into our toolkits, we want business owners grabbing them. They are going to eliminate asymptomatic spread throughout the workplace.”

The tests are free of charge and will be made available to any business with 150 or fewer employees that wants them. Delaney says the nose-swabbing tests are less invasive than some other tests and yield results within twenty minutes.

“If you are putting this in your toolkit, you’re saying, hey we’re going to catch any spread before spread can happen,” says Delaney. “So you don’t have a reason to shut us down again.”

In an attempt to get her summer day camps ready to run again, Monica Lyon, owner of the Arnprior School of Dance, was one of the first businesses to reach out for the tests.

“It’s just going to be an added layer of protection for my staff, and then of course for all my families and their children that will be attending,” says Lyon.

With the camp set to start at the beginning on July, Lyon says there is high demand for registration, and the rapid tests will give her further confidence her business won’t be shut down.

“By having these tests, we’re going to be able to see that someone might be carrying, then we can get them further tested and have that staff not come in,” says Lyon. “I just think that if we can be proactive, that’s the way to go.”

The Greater Arnprior Chamber of Commerce says they are hoping employees will test themselves on average twice per week, and expects shipments of the tests to go out by the end of June.