Business owners in the South Peace are calling on the province to foot the bill for COVID-19 rapid tests for northeast businesses.
Earlier this month, Chambers of Commerce in Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge and Dawson Creek penned a letter to Premier Horgan, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Dr. Jong Kim, the chief medical officer with Northern Health, requesting to cover the testing costs.
“Testing and results continue to be a challenge for business owners here in Northeastern BC, where some owners report waiting up to two days for an appointment and up to five days for results,” reads a statement released by the Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce.
The organizations say the uncertainty behind waiting for tests impacts day-to-day operations.
“Not having timely access to tests and results can create delays in managing staffing, shifts and available employees.”
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the province has provided grants to cover additional costs for supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer.
The chambers believe the solution would be to extend existing grants to cover rapid testing costs in the future.
“Therefore, we ask that a reimbursement policy be created as soon as possible.”
According to the BC CDC, rapid testing kits provide results within 15 or twenty minutes but “are generally less accurate at detecting COVID-19 infection than standard testing.”