The Turning The Tide bookstore in Saskatoon uses a free small business rapid test program offered by the Saskatchewan Health Authority as the city experiences an increase in COVID-19 cases.
“We just received our first rapid test kit, so we’re going to test our employees twice a week for COVID, for asymptomatic COVID,” said owner Peter Garden.
“I would really encourage other businesses and organizations to sign up, it’s a free program. This is something we can all do to help keep our community safe.
Staff also took additional measures such as mandatory masking and hand sanitizer at the door.
Garden said he was worried as COVID-19 numbers rose during Wave Four.
“We certainly welcome the implementation of certain security measures by the provincial government. We were actually disappointed that we didn’t take action and let the Fourth Wave get so out of hand right now, ”Garden said.
“None of us want lockdowns, again, but we also don’t want to see our hospitals filling up the way they are now and having to cancel surgeries and overworked nurses and doctors, it’s not fair to them. We really need some leadership right now.
Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce CEO Jason Aebig said businesses in the city were not taken by surprise.
“All of these recent developments around a fourth wave are concerning, but they were not completely unexpected,” Aebig said.
“There is no doubt that companies have learned a lot over the past 20 months on how to stay open, keep people at work, keep their customers and employees safe, when entering their workplace,” Aebig told CTV.
Aebig said businesses in Saskatoon have taken advantage of the incentive to shop locally throughout the past year, but now is not the time to give up.
“The need to buy local and support our local business community is just as strong now as it was over the past 20 months and before that.
“What we, I think, need to see now is the patience and patronage of these companies doing their best to serve the public and their employees and customers at the same time.”
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