The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) is pleased to announce a partnership with Great Wolf Lodge for the distribution of COVID-19 rapid testing kits. Great Wolf Lodge, located at 3950 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, is a member of the Ontario Vaccination Support Council, whose mission is to support public vaccination through partnerships with private businesses. Great Wolf Lodge will be the distribution site for kits throughout Niagara.
The kits are being provided free of charge to employers, with kit costs covered by the governments of Ontario and Canada. The GNCC and Great Wolf Lodge are donating their resources and facilities to the administration of this program, which was developed and spearheaded by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
Kits must be ordered at https://gncc.ca/workplace-self-screening-kits/. Online ordering is now available. The online portal allows businesses to book an appointment to pick up kits, which will be offered between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday. The ample facilities and parking available at Great Wolf Lodge will make processing orders safe and easy. The GNCC and Great Wolf Lodge are also providing facilities for the safe return and disposal of used tests.
For the safety of staff and volunteers at the site, no kits can be picked up without an appointment. These kits are for businesses with essential employees only and cannot be distributed to the public. Great Wolf Lodge is unable to provide information or book appointments directly. Vital and familiar safety measures will be implemented to ensure a safe and contactless pickup. Masks, hand sanitizing, following the red directional signage and appointment schedules will be critical.
Studies have suggested that as many as one-third of COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic, so detecting and isolating asymptomatic carriers is vital to stopping the spread. While PCR testing remains the gold standard, these tests are expensive and must be done in a laboratory, with results taking several days to return.
Rapid antigen test kits can identify a significant number of asymptomatic individuals. When used to test employees in essential workplaces, along with rigorous self-screening, the COVID Alert app, physical distancing and PPE, these tests can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 through workplaces.
Symptomatic individuals should contact health authorities to arrange for a PCR test.
The tests are to be self-administered twice a week, under supervision. Instructions on correct usage of the kits are being provided with them. All aggregated test results are sent to the Province to identify and track outbreaks, and while employees retain the right to opt out of testing, no personally identifying information is gathered or uploaded.
The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in Niagara, the largest business organization in the region and the second-largest Chamber of Commerce in Ontario, with 1,500 members representing 50,000 employees. More information on the GNCC is available at gncc.ca.
Mishka Balsom, CEO, GNCC
Mishka@gncc.ca or 905-684-2361