WEYBURN - In the past week, 18 chambers of commerce in Saskatchewan and several businesses began distributing rapid tests for individuals across the province, including the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce.
The Weyburn Chamber had given out about half of the kits they were initially supplied with as of late Monday, said executive director Larry Heggs.
The kits can be picked up from the Chamber office on Third Street during their hours of operation on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and 1-4:30 p.m. Each kit has five tests, and can be picked by anyone, whether from a business or a residence, said Heggs.
“The response has been amazing. In Swift Current, they ran out of kits within 45 minutes and people are thrilled to finally have access to these important tools to aid in the fight against COVID-19. We have had a wide range of people picking up kits, such as students, families and grandparents. People have been expressing how appreciative they are to have access,” said Steve McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.
The 18 local chambers of commerce and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce will be distributing rapid tests over the next few weeks as supply and demand require. Additionally, ten Canalta Hotels and the Market Mall in Saskatoon have also agreed to distribute kits.
“We asked our local chambers to step up and most were able to as they had sufficient office and staff capacity. I was very pleased to have each of the Saskatchewan Canalta Hotels agree to volunteer their staff and locations,” said McLellan.
“We have always been active participants in each of our respective communities and when this opportunity came along to help in such an important service, we immediately agreed. We all want COVID-19 behind us and we are committed to keeping our neighbours safe and sound,” said Gary Hoffert, Regional Vice President, Canalta Hotels.
Rapid tests will be given to households to help curb infection. The chambers are providing the distribution service at no cost to the province or residents and have based their current hours on anticipated supplies.
Hours may change in upcoming weeks depending on test availability. Chambers are only one avenue the provincial government and the Saskatchewan Health Authority are using to distribute the tests, with other community agencies stepping in to help across the province.