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Shoppers Drug Mart has announced a COVID-19 rapid antigen screening program for employers, with results in 15-20 minutes. This will provide a quick tool for those who want to safely operate or reopen their business.

Screening can help detect COVID-19 early on before it spreads. The antigen test detects active infections, and although less sensitive than PCR testing, can still enhance safety in the workplace.

"Getting through this pandemic will require a three-pronged strategy – following public health guidelines and recommendations, increased and frequent COVID-19 testing and screening, and vaccinations," says Ashesh Desai, executive vice president, pharmacy and healthcare, Shoppers Drug Mart. "Providing convenient, accessible and affordable testing options for employers will become increasingly important as we look to reopen the economy while keeping employees and Canadians safe."

Shoppers Drug Mart has two programs for businesses depending on size, need and location.

In partnership with the Government of Canada, small and medium sized employers in Ontario hot spots can get rapid antigen testing kits at over 40 Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies free of charge with a handling fee for each box of 25 tests.

"Over the past year, businesses of all sizes have made significant changes to how they operate in order to keep their teams healthy, and their doors open wherever possible," says Dan Kelly, president and chief executive officer, Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses. "As we manage through the third wave and challenging months ahead, rapid testing programs will allow small businesses another important tool to bring workers back safely and for Canadians to get back out with confidence. It's a meaningful step to getting our economy back to normal."

It has also launched an online portal for employers to self-asses, book screenings and view results. In Ontario and Alberta, screenings can be done at select Shoppers Drug mart and Loblaw pharmacies.

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