Rapid Antigen Testing a success for the Phoenix Residential Society
“It makes me feel relieved knowing we have the option to get tested at work so easily,” said Autumn Cattell about the COVID-19 rapid antigen testing kits her organization received from the Saskatchewan Health Authority at the end of May.
Cattell works for the Phoenix Residential Society, a community-based health-care organization providing psychosocial (psychiatric) rehabilitation services to persons with psychiatric disorders, concurrent disorder of problematic substance use and mental illness, and persons with cognitive disorders and acquired brain injury.
The rapid antigen testing kits are allowing 40 staff at the Phoenix Residential Society to test themselves and their clients for COVID-19, if necessary. The team is averaging about 20 tests per week.
“Staff have responded very positively to having the rapid antigen testing kits available on site,” said Executive Director Sheila Wignes-Paton. “Many staff have said how it gives them peace of mind knowing staff and our clients can be tested quickly and easily. We appreciate the SHA making these tests available to our community-based organization. The process to register and get training was very easy.”
Interested businesses, agencies and organizations can learn more about implementing their own rapid testing program on the Ministry of Health COVID site. It includes an easy-to-use registration and the get-started checklist so that businesses, agencies and organizations can get a better understanding of what’s required for a testing program and how to get started.
“This test is beneficial in the sense that it provides comfort to staff and residents, allowing them to feel more at ease,” said Program Coordinator Tyler Smidt.
Mallory Sprawson, Nurse Supervisor, and Jordan Metz, Psychosocial Rehab Worker, agree.
“These tests have offered our frontline staff extra peace of mind in providing services to our clients,” said Sprawson. “They are also an extra line of defence for the more vulnerable populations we serve.”
“It’s an easily accessible resource for people who are worried about the virus,” added Metz.
“The Test-to-Protect program for businesses in Saskatchewan has demonstrated that it is an effective strategy to protect the people of Saskatchewan and workplaces, by enabling workers to screen for COVID-19 before they attend work,” said Dr. Johnmark Opondo, Saskatchewan Health Authority Medical Health Officer and Medical Director of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control (Category II Disease). “The antigen screen has been confirmed positive in 48 instances, enabling workers and workplaces to take immediate safe action, prevent new workplace outbreaks, and protect the families and citizens of Saskatchewan. This is a great illustration of how we have come together to keep Saskatchewan businesses viable and the province strong.”