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Free Self-Testing Kits

Chambers of Commerce Help Members and Non-Members with Masks and Kits


The latest information from Health Canada suggests that up to 1/3 of people carrying the Covid-19 virus are asymptomatic causing little or no noticeable signs, however, over 50% of known cases were transmitted by an asymptomatic carrier. This makes it incredibly important to find asymptomatic carriers in order to combat the spread and get to more normalized community life.

To help stop the spread, the Greater KW and Cambridge Chambers of Commerce are now offering free self-screening tests and medical-grade masks to small and medium sized businesses in the region. The test kits are provided by the provincial and federal governments and 1.5 million medical-grade masks have been donated by Eclipse Automation of Cambridge.

According to Ian McLean, president and CEO of the KW Chamber of Commerce, their first 3,500 kits were gone within an hour of becoming available on their website, The KW and Cambridge Chambers have distributed kits to over 1,100 regional businesses in 11 business days and McLean thinks that they will reach as high as 70,000 kits a week very soon. Other Chambers across Ontario have expressed strong interest in following the KW/Cambridge Chambers’ lead.

Jessica Hubick from the Rural Post picks up their office test kits

Speaking of the initiative, McLean said, “We know that cloth masks are just not effective enough, especially with the new variants. We want there to be more focus on getting medical-grade masks in the workplace and the public instead of the cloth masks.”

“The second thing is getting rapid screening in place so that people and businesses can have more confidence that their own workforce is safe and that when they find someone who may be in the early stages of having the virus, that they can be appropriately told to self-isolate, go and get into the public health system, get the full PCR testing if they have a positive screen and make sure they’re not in the workplace spreading the virus.”

“These are two things that we know are essential (to combat the spread),” McLean said.

“All Region of Waterloo small to medium sized businesses (including sole proprietors and gig workers) can go on the website, input their employee count, make an appointment, come into the Cambridge Chamber offices at 750 Hespeler Road and pick up a two week supply of screening kits and medical-grade masks.”

You will need to watch a 5 minute “how to” video. There’s also some minimal reporting that is necessary. It’s minimal and easy to administer. “A well-trained Basset Hound could self administer these kits. It’s very simple,” said McLean.

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