Directive for DND/CAF COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Detection Testing (RADT): What You Need to Know
June 18, 2021 - Defence Stories
VCDS has published a new directive (accessible only on the National Defence network) outlining how the DND/CAF will implement rapid COVID-19 testing in certain workplaces and facilities. We encourage Defence Team members to read the document in its entirety, but you can find a high-level summary below:
What is this Directive?
Although DND/CAF has implemented rigorous public health measures (PHM) within Defence facilities, there is still the potential for individuals who are infected with COVID-19 but don’t have any symptoms to unintentionally expose others to the virus. As part of the overall fight against COVID-19, DND/CAF is implementing a workplace rapid testing program to help identify asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. This will be achieved through COVID-19 rapid testing kits procured by the federal government.
This RADT program will not replace or alter the existing operationally-focused CAF rapid testing program currently underway or the need to enforce public health measures. The RADT program simply adds one more level of risk mitigation to DND/CAF facilities.
How it will work:
- The RADT pilot program has been implemented at three unit locations: CFB Esquimalt (MARPAC), CFB Borden (including 16 Wing), and CFB Halifax (MARLANT). An assessment will be conducted at the end of 12 weeks to determine next steps.
- It will be available to all Defence Team members, including public service employees, CAF members, CFMWS employees, and any individuals granted access to Defence establishments in accordance with the Defence Controlled Access Area Regulations.
- The test is a self-administered swab and will be conducted in a space that will protect Defence Team members’ privacy. Signed Consent and Disclosure forms will provided and submitted in accordance with the Privacy Act and Privacy Regulations.
- A presumptive positive result may require additional confirmatory testing based on Provincial/Territorial and regional directives. For civilian members this will mean testing through the local public health system, and for CAF members, it will mean coordination with the supporting Base or Wing clinic.
- The frequency of testing will be defined by local conditions but testing would not normally need to be conducted daily on the same population group. Current Health Canada guidelines for RADT suggests 1-2 tests per week and population group.
- Public service employees who receive a presumptive positive result and who are subsequently awaiting diagnosis testing/results from local public health authorities will be placed on Code 699 or sick leave should the employee not be able to work remotely.
If you have any questions about the RADT program, please reach out to your supervisor or chain of command.
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