A number of local businesses have been snatching up free rapid COVID screening tests.

Gail Hundt, president of the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce says the program, in partnership with other Chambers around the municipality, has been quite successful so far.

“It has been a very positive uptake, at this point I am seeing a large group of very diversified businesses interested in the program from every corner of Chatham-Kent,” Hundt says. “Whether that’s from agriculture or the service sector, some of the retailers that are limited capacity or curbside.”

The goal is to identify asymptomatic cases in the workplace that might otherwise be missed and help to curb the spread of the virus through the community.

Hundt says they’re just a few days into the program and they’ve already handed out roughly 500 test kits to local businesses.

“We have the capacity at the current time to supply over 22,000 tests for employees. So we are ensuring we have the capacity for most businesses in Chatham-Kent to take advantage of the program and for the longer term until we feel that the service is no longer needed.”

The Rapid Screening Initiative is free for all small and medium sized businesses in the municipality with 150 employees or less, whether they are members of the Chamber or not.