By Kevin Peesker, President, Microsoft Canada
To help Canadians return safely to work, Microsoft and CDL Rapid Screening Consortium have introduced a new offering that enables employers to offer rapid COVID-19 antigen screens for employees before they enter the workspace, now including the option to screen from home. With results in just 15 minutes, rapid screens help reduce the risks of a shared work environment and offer a cost-effective system to help drive economic recovery as governments across the country lift lockdowns.
The home screening option enhances existing screening measures for asymptomatic employees and has the potential to break the chain of transmission early on. With home screening, employers are not required to set-up on-site screening facilities at all locations, providing the option to all workers, even those at smaller outposts where on-site screening facilities may not be feasible. It ensures that anyone who receives a preliminary positive result can isolate immediately, never come on-site and help prevent a spread in the workplace.
Microsoft is the preferred enterprise solution provider for the CDL Rapid Screening Consortium and developed a solution leveraging Azure and Power Platform that enables employers to quickly introduce rapid screening into their workplaces. For organizations providing the home-screening option, the solution allows employees to self-screen and report their data through their own personal Employee App. For organizations choosing on-site screening, there is a secondary Screening App for the health and safety officers conducting screenings that works seamlessly with the Employee App to schedule, administer and record screens.
These two apps feed into a secure centralized data hub, called Dataverse. Based on that data, employers will gain important insights with Power BI, such as site or organization-level information on outbreaks, efficacy of the screens and adoption of their program.
The home- screening solution is already being used in Canadian organizations, like Air Canada, to provide employees with an extra layer of protection in the workplace. Data from this past year demonstrates that people in workplaces can be at risk of being infected with COVID-19. By screening employees at least twice a week, the screening tool can detect COVID-19 when asymptomatic individuals are infectious. This helps to break the chain of transmission and adds an extra layer of protection that helps to protect their co-workers.
“From the start, Microsoft has been our partner in developing the applications for our rapid screening program, dedicated to our employees and site administrators, to allow for a seamless experience,” said Samuel Elfassy, Vice President, Safety at Air Canada. “As we transitioned to home screening, Microsoft continues to provide us with their technology and expertise to make it easy to implement and scale up the program, allowing Air Canada to expand the testing to more workgroups.”
Our collaboration with the CDL Rapid Screening Consortium demonstrates what’s possible when we leverage technology to solve big challenges.
“The CDL Rapid Screening Consortium has been an unprecedented collaboration among businesses, researchers and government working together for the common good. Rapid screening has increased confidence among workers as an extra layer of protection for employees against COVID-19 exposure. They are safer at work and less likely to bring the virus home with them,” said Janice Stein, Founding Director, Munk School of Global Affairs and Policy, and a member of the CDL Rapid Screening Consortium Steering Committee.
At Microsoft, our unique role as a platform and tools provider allows us to bring together an ecosystem of experts and partners to increase tech adoption and build the digital capabilities required to address these challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across every industry and technology will continue to play a critical role in enabling an inclusive economic recovery. We are committed to helping Canadian organizations deploy innovative solutions, like Power Platform, that enables them to adapt to rapid change within an industry, innovate and solve challenges collaboratively and harness insights to stay focused on what matters. To learn more about CDL Rapid Screening Consortium and to register your workplace, please visit https://www.cdlrapidscreeningconsortium.com/