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Suncor Sarnia refinery pilots rapid COVID-19 screening

April 14, 2021/By: Shaun Bisson

In December, Suncor joined the Creative Destruction Lab Rapid (CDL) Screening Consortium, a partnership between Health Canada, federal and provincial governments, and 11 other Canadian companies, to launch a rapid screening pilot. The goal is to develop a playbook on how to deploy cost-effective rapid screening in the workplace and across communities.

The Sarnia refinery is one of several Suncor sites that are participating in the pilot. To date, 34 participants have volunteered for asymptomatic screening two times per week for a 10-week period. The process, which includes a nasal swab (but not the same “brain tickler” associated with COVID-19 testing for symptomatic individuals) is quick and easy with results available within 15 minutes. Results are confidential and overall data from the pilot is aggregated to further ensure individual privacy.

“Rapid screening is simply an added layer of protection,” says Michelle Chipman, Screening Pilot Lead. “Along with our most basic protocols (mask use, hand washing and physical distancing), vaccines and contact tracing, this additional tool is an important step in making Canadians safer, and supports the effort to safely reopen the economy.”

The rapid screening pilot, which began February 1 at the Sarnia refinery, has been well received by participants and has helped us understand the value of screening and how best to deploy it. In fact, it will play a supporting role in the refinery’s upcoming planned maintenance Turnaround that starts at the beginning of April.

The screening will be prioritized for certain roles and where there is an elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission, in accordance with applicable laws and public health authority guidance.

For more information about the rapid antigen screening program, please email: sarniarefinery@suncor.com.