Air Canada, Rogers and Suncor part of consortium piloting rapid COVID-19 testing

Rapid Tests

Some of Canada's top airlines, banks, telecommunications companies and sports teams have formed a consortium piloting rapid tests to identify COVID-19 in workplaces and help reopen offices.

The 12 companies including Air Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia are experimenting with antigen tests as part of a program being run by the University of Toronto's Creative Destruction Lab.

Lab founder Ajay Agrawal says the pilot centres around companies asking employees to go through COVID testing twice a week when they appear at work.

He says it takes about 90 seconds to administer the rapid tests and about 15 minutes for them to detect whether someone has COVID-19.

Agrawal says Rogers Communications Inc. and Air Canada were the first two companies to begin the testing and were joined by Suncor Energy Inc. and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in late January.

Bank of Nova Scotia, Loblaw Companies Ltd., Magna International Inc., Nutrien Ltd. and Canada Pension Plan Investments are also part of the consortium