Health Canada

Stay Safe Rapid Antigen Testing

The Challenge

During the COVID-19 pandemic, outbreaks and employee shortages forced many businesses to close. Rapid antigen tests would reduce the likelihood of the virus entering and spreading in the workplace. However, their use was highly regulated and required administration through healthcare professionals. Health Canada needed to get rapid antigen tests into the hands of businesses and enable people to use them effectively.

How NorthGuide helped

  • Created models to give businesses the resources and information they needed to run a rapid testing program in the workplace, and evangelize the importance of rapid testing.
  • Brought together a coalition of partners in Waterloo Region to test different distribution approaches.
  • Compiled the successful models into a playbook to share with communities across Canada.
  • Connected with thousands of business leaders and networks across the country to create a unified voice about the importance/value of rapid tests.
  • Provided ongoing advice to Health Canada about the rapid test landscape including:
    ◦ the perspectives/needs of business,
    ◦ supply & demand modeling for tests,
    ◦ surfacing successful international models for testing,
    ◦ considerations for regulations, and
    ◦ guidelines around testing.

The Results

NorthGuide’s work with Health Canada was instrumental in proving the opportunity for widespread rapid antigen test distribution. The Chamber of Commerce distribution model was scaled across the country, distributing millions of rapid test kits to hundreds of thousands of businesses.

90% of organizations reported StaySafe had a positive impact on their workplace*, reporting it helped:

  • Employees feel comfortable returning to the workplace / improved mental health (72%)
  • Keep business open (59%)
  • Improve customer confidence (41%)
  • Enable return to workplace (40%)

*Results of a NorthGuide impact study

“The rapid testing program and test kits provided by the federal government allowed us to protect our crews but also the isolated communities that would have been at risk if there had been contagion. This program was vital for our operation.”
Stay Safe program participant