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Shoppers Drug Mart launches rapid COVID-19 screening programs to help employers safely operate and reopen

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Antigen screening programs are now available at select pharmacies for employers in Ontario and Alberta

TORONTO, May 7, 2021 /CNW/ - Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. ("Shoppers Drug Mart") announced today COVID-19 antigen screening options for employers who want a quick and convenient tool to more safely operate or reopen their businesses. Rapid antigen tests can provide results within 15-20 minutes, giving workplaces additional and readily accessible information to help keep their employees safe.

Shoppers Drug Mart introduces rapid COVID screening for employers (CNW Group/Loblaw Companies Limited)
Shoppers Drug Mart introduces rapid COVID screening for employers (CNW Group/Loblaw Companies Limited)

Widespread rapid screening can provide employers with an early warning system, helping to identify COVID-19 infections before they spread. An antigen screening test can detect an active COVID-19 infection by detecting the presence of antigens – or specific proteins on a virus's surface. Although less sensitive than PCR testing, the antigen screening test can enhance currently available public testing programs, providing faster and more convenient options for employers.

"Getting through this pandemic will require a three-pronged strategy – following public health guidelines and recommendations, increased and frequent COVID-19 testing and screening, and vaccinations," said Ashesh Desai, Executive Vice President, Pharmacy and Healthcare, Shoppers Drug Mart. "Providing convenient, accessible and affordable testing options for employers will become increasingly important as we look to reopen the economy while keeping employees and Canadians safe."

Shoppers Drug Mart has two distinct programs available for businesses depending on employers' size, need and location. In partnership with the Government of Canada, small and medium sized employers operating in Ontario hot spots with close-contact workplaces can now pick up rapid antigen testing kits at more than 40 Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies. The rapid screening tests for this initiative are being provided free-of-charge by the Government of Canada for qualifying businesses. Stores will charge a small handling fee for each box of 25 tests. For more details, visit www.federalrapidscreening.morewaystobenefit.ca.

Shoppers Drug Mart has also launched an employer-based program that leverages an innovative online portal to support employees as they complete self-assessments, book screening appointments and view results. This program also provides employers with operational dashboards and consolidated reporting to help employers monitor the safety of their workforce. In Ontario and Alberta, screening can be done at participating Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw pharmacy locations. In other provinces, alternative screening options are available. For more details visit www.morewaystobenefit.ca/rapidscreening.

"Over the past year, businesses of all sizes have made significant changes to how they operate in order to keep their teams healthy, and their doors open wherever possible," said Dan Kelly, President and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses. "As we manage through the third wave and challenging months ahead, rapid testing programs will allow small businesses another important tool to bring workers back safely and for Canadians to get back out with confidence. It's a meaningful step to getting our economy back to normal."

About Shoppers Drug Mart Inc.
Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With more than 1,300 Shoppers Drug Mart® and Pharmaprix® stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The company also licenses or owns 47 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy® (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé® in Québec), and provides cosmetic dermatology services at two standalone The Beauty Clinic by Shoppers™ locations. As well, the company owns and operates 43 corporate Wellwise by Shoppers Drug Mart™ stores and an ecommerce site Wellwise.ca, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the company owns the Medical Cannabis by Shoppers™ online platform for the sale of medical cannabis, Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities. Shoppers Drug Mart is an independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

Cision
Cision

View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2021/07/c1808.html