Workplace Antigen Testing Study

What you'll learn on this page:

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) is committed to preventing the spread of COVID-19 to passengers, workers and the surrounding communities where they live. As part of a research study, we are pleased to announce that the GTAA is partnering with university-affiliated epidemiologists to study the effectiveness of frequent antigen testing to identify COVID-19 in the workplace.

Starting March 8, 2021, airport workers volunteering to participate in this study will take an antigen test three times per week, scheduled Monday to Friday, for the duration of eight weeks. The program is available to airport workers that are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Testing will be available at the Terminal 1 testing centre.

The research study is supported in part by funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). Testing services are made available at the airport through Fionet, together with Alpha Labs, and OnPoint1 Health, and under the supervision of a licensed medical doctor. Tests used in the Workplace Antigen Testing Study are Panbio antigen, provided by the Government of Ontario.

Rapid antigen tests use bilateral anterior nose swabs, not nasopharyngeal swabs. Antigen tests that give a presumptive positive result will be confirmed with a rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. If a study participant is diagnosed as positive with the PCR test, they will be required to immediately self-isolate and public health will be notified. They will no longer be able to participate in the remainder of the study.

Understand the study

Antigen tests for COVID-19 are inexpensive and provide fast results. In people who have a high amount of the virus, an antigen test can have similar accuracy to PCR-based tests. In people who have a lower amount of the virus, antigen tests may provide falsely negative results.

By testing multiple times per week, over multiple weeks, we can better understand how antigen tests can improve workplace safety by reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 through quicker identification and isolation of the virus.

This study will produce scientific data that will help inform health and safety policies about possible future workplace testing programs. The findings may also have application to other workplace settings.

Eligibility

We are recruiting 500 airport workers to participate.

The Workplace Antigen Testing Study is available to:

  • Airport workers who do not have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Have a personal electronic device capable of connecting to the internet (such as a cell phone)

Any participants that meet the following criteria are ineligible to participate:

  • Participant unable or unwilling to provide informed consent in the registration process
  • Currently exhibiting or have exhibited the following symptoms within 14 days of test appointment: Fever, chills, cough or worsening of chronic cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Current diagnosis of respiratory illness or diagnosis of respiratory illness within 14 days of test appointment
  • Frequent nosebleeds (more than 2 per month) and/or active nosebleed within 24 hours of the test appointment
  • Nasal surgery within previous 3 months
  • Acute facial trauma or injury
  • Unable, or unwilling, to provide required sample
  • Investigator believes participant is unsuitable for inclusion in the study (i.e., has serious condition(s) or other reason(s) that could limit their ability to participate in the study; or impact the scientific integrity of the study)

Participate in the study

Starting March 8, 2021:

  • Let your employer know that you intend to participate in this program
  • Register through the Fionet Platform
  • Book your three weekly appointments through your Fionet profile
  • Arrive for your appointment at the Terminal 1 testing centre
  • Wait at the Terminal 1 testing centre waiting area for approximately 30 minutes until you get the text or email notification that your results are ready
  • View your results through your Fionet profile

Results

Contact information

Fionet Support Service: 647-490-0371

Questions and answers

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