Posthaste: How a rapid screening consortium led by 12 Canadian companies could accelerate our return to the office

Excellent early morning!

As coronavirus broke out in 2015, 12 Canadian business, consisting of Air Canada and Loblaw, came together last August to begin a non-profit consortium led by the University of Toronto’s Creative Damage Laboratory with the sole objective to establish and carry out pilots for screening of COVID-19 at offices throughout Canada.

The complete lineup of the business is: The Canada Pension Financial Investment Board (CPPIB), Genpact, Loblaw Companies Ltd. and its subsidiary Shoppers Drug Mart, Magna International Inc., MDA Corp., Air Canada, Maple Leaf Sports & Home Entertainment Ltd., Nutrien Ltd., Rogers Communications Inc., Scotiabank and Suncor Energy.

The extraordinary relocation, apparently the very first amongst business in the industrialized world, was entrusted with the objective to “seed the plan to bring our economy back to normality.”

Laboratory creator Ajay Agrawal informed The Canadian Press that the pilot centres around business asking workers to go through COVID-19 screening two times a week when they appear at work.

Agrawal informed CP that Rogers and Air Canada were the very first 2 business to start the screening and were signed up with by Suncor and MLSE in January.

“With billions being lost in economic activity each week and a massive disruption to social life brought about by a cycle of lockdowns, a system was needed. The CDL Rapid Screening Consortium’s goal is to provide that system and to make it available to all,” according to the consortium.

The Canadian federal government’s sluggish vaccine rollout has actually rushed hopes of an early go back to normalcy. More than 20,000 Canadians have actually passed away due to COVID-19, as 2nd and 3rd waves of the infection have actually resulted in routine lockdowns, limitation and financial chaos.

Canada’s postponed vaccine materials might be more affected by brand-new controls on vaccine exports that have actually been enforced by the European Union.

The consortium thinks even if the vaccines are presented quickly, screening in offices will continue.

“Screening is one tool in the toolbox to help to slow the spread of COVID-19,” according to the consortium. “Even when we begin to rollout a vaccine, rapid and effective screening will continue to be required to fighting the virus.”

The group states that the screening matches provincial and federal public health COVID-19 management procedures such as PCR screening and contact tracing.

“With the rise of rapid, point-of-care screens there is more opportunity to screen for infection in locations where lab-based screens is impractical, untimely, or where there is a need to reduce strain on the public health system,” the consortium stated. “This in turn will increase Canada’s capability to determine possible break outs and manage the pandemic in more different areas – such as in the economic sector.

Agarwal informed CP it takes about 90 seconds to administer the quick tests and about 15 minutes for them to identify whether somebody has COVID-19.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.