The Regional Municipality Of York

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Rapid Antigen Testing for the Agri-Food Sector

The Province will be providing Rapid Antigen Tests to essential workplaces and settings to help stop the spread of COVID-19. More specifically, York Region Public Health will be partnering with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to pilot Panbio Rapid Antigen testing for local farms with temporary foreign workers.

The rapid antigen testing is to be used for screening purposes only for asymptomatic individuals to increase the chances of early identification. A rapid antigen test (also known as a point-of-care test) can be performed at the workplace by a health professional and provides results in approximately 15 minutes. Antigen testing detects specific proteins from the virus to screen and identify people who need further testing.

It should not be used for diagnosis of acute COVID-19 infection. Testing does not prevent someone from getting COVID-19.

The rapid antigen test kits are being provided at no cost, upon request, but workplaces will require someone to administer the test. If you do not have a qualified staff person, as outlined below, to administer the test, you will be required to retain someone at your own cost.

Rapid Antigen Testing Requirements

Testing is performed using one of the following swabbing collections:

  • a nasopharyngeal specimen (highest sensitivity)
  • a combined specimen of throat and both nares, or
  • a deep nasal specimen

Collecting a nasopharyngeal specimen is a controlled act and can only be collected by a regulated health professional, for example: Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Pharmacists, Dentists, Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses, Paramedics and community paramedic practitioners.

Collecting a combined specimen of throat and both nares, or a deep nasal specimen can be collected by any health professional with appropriate training. In addition to all regulated health professionals, this may include: Personal Support Workers (active or retired), Occupational Therapists, Registered Massage Therapists, Physician Assistants, Physiotherapy Assistants, Speech Language Therapists, Osteopaths and others.

More information

For agri-food sector businesses requiring more information, you may contact omafra.labour@ontario.ca.

Other Businesses

Currently, this a provincial-led initiative for rapid tests to temporary foreign workers in the agri-food sector only. For other businesses requiring information about rapid antigen testing in the workplace, you are required to contact the ministry associated to your workplace.



covid,covid19,testing,workplace testing,rapid testing,agri-food sector The Province will be providing Rapid Antigen Tests to essential workplaces and settings to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The Regional Municipality of York en-US News

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