Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto has partnered with the Toronto Region Board of Trade to provide free COVID-19 rapid screening kits to small- and medium-sized businesses across Toronto.
Last month, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade in partnership with the federal government and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, launched the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative for small- and medium-sized businesses across the province.
Businesses in Toronto with 150 or fewer employees are welcome to participate in this voluntary initiative.
Use of rapid screening kits by employees of small- and medium-sized businesses can help identify asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace, thereby reducing the spread of COVID-19 in those workplaces, at home and in the community.
Eligible businesses can visit https://bot.com/rapidscreening to order their initial four-week supply of testing kits from the Toronto Region Board of Trade and book a time slot for pickup.
To make it easier for eligible businesses to participate in this voluntary initiative, the rapid screening kits will be available for scheduled pickup at the following locations beginning Friday, June 18:
- Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall
- North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St.
- Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.
- Fort York Visitor Centre, 250 Fort York Blvd.
These distribution sites will be open for scheduled pickups by appointment only from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Additional distribution sites may be added for Step 2 of Ontario’s re-opening in late June or early July.
Participating businesses must ensure employees use the rapid screening kits correctly, watch a training video, and safely dispose of the used testing kits. Each business will be required to electronically submit their screening results and are advised to test staff twice weekly. The accumulated data will be reported to the Ontario Ministry of Health monthly.
While waiting for confirmatory test results, people must isolate at home, whether they have symptoms or not, for 10 days from the first day of symptoms or the date of the positive rapid test if there are no symptoms. More information is available at
This initiative is one of several ways that employers in Toronto can obtain rapid tests for their staff. Other opportunities include:
- Businesses with more than 150 employees may be eligible to receive testing kits through the Provincial Antigen Screening Program. To confirm eligibility, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/provincial-antigen-screening-program .
- Since April, larger organizations operating in critical sectors with close-contact employees working in multiple provinces have been able to request rapid tests directly through a new federal portal at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/testing-screening-contact-tracing/rapid-tests-employees.html
- Shoppers Drug Mart locations in COVID-19 hot spots in Ontario can provide rapid antigen tests for small- and medium-sized enterprises. More information is available at https://www.federalrapidscreening.morewaystobenefit.ca/ .
- Non-profit, charitable and Indigenous community organizations can access rapid antigen tests through the Canadian Red Cross at https://redcross.smapply.ca/ .
- The Creative Destruction Laboratory leads the CDL Rapid Screening Consortium for organizations of all sizes at https://www.cdlrapidscreeningconsortium.com/register .
“The launch of the Toronto COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative for Small and Medium Enterprises is just one of many ways that the City is working hard to help businesses to reopen and recover from the pandemic. I want to thank the Toronto Region Board of Trade for partnering with us to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, at home and in the community.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Ontario has now delivered over 12 million free rapid antigen test kits for COVID-19 to over 2,600 workplaces. Today’s announcement to distribute rapid test kits to more small businesses and other organizations will help them stay open and keep their employees and their families safe.”
– Victor Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
“Even as Ontario makes remarkable progress with vaccinations and takes further steps on the Roadmap to Reopen, it’s clear that businesses continue to need support to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19 and its variants. Ontario is proud to support the City of Toronto and the Toronto Board of Trade as they make it easier for businesses to use every tool available to fight this virus.”
– Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction
“Toronto’s small businesses are the heart of our main streets and our communities. This initiative, along with our partnerships with other orders of government, businesses and organizations such as the Toronto Region Board of Trade, will help local businesses reopen with confidence and accelerate the recovery of Toronto’s economy.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“The pandemic’s impact on small businesses cannot be overstated – with many racking-up significant debt to stay afloat and some facing permanent closure. Yet through it all, business owners have gone above and beyond to move their operations online, limit capacity and stay closed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Now, it’s time they start getting ready to reopen. Rolling out rapid tests at no cost to business is one of a number of steps we’re taking to help bring people back to business districts, which are the major drivers of our city and region’s economy.”
– Jan De Silva, President and CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade
The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential chambers of commerce in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic growth agenda. Backed by more than 13,500 members, we pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region, and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally. To learn about the Board’s economic recovery efforts and response to COVID-19, visit https://supportbusiness.bot.com/ .