A pilot announced by Ontario that aims to improve accessibility of COVID-19 testing for the trucking industry is being lauded by the Ontario Trucking Association.
Premier Doug Ford has routinely stated one of the keys to fully reopening the economy is getting as many Ontarians as possible tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether they are exhibiting symptoms or not. Today’s announcement to designate one of DriverCheck’s occupational testing clinics and other locations as official, publicly funded testing sites means the trucking industry will have more convenient access to COVID-19 testing.
“With the guidance of the medical community, the trucking industry and its customers have introduced multiple effective measures (OTA-Proactive Measures-Covid_public) to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result of these efforts, along with the self-isolating nature of the occupation, Ontario truck drivers are not exhibiting an elevated of contracting or spreading COVID-19,” said OTA Chair David Carruth.
“OTA agrees with Premier Ford that providing widespread availability of voluntary testing to Ontarians is one of the most effective tools to fight this pandemic and get the economy up and running. Today’s announcement will assist the province’s commercial drivers immensely in accessing COVID-19 testing.”
DriverCheck’s mobile operations and locations are designed to accommodate long-haul drivers whose work schedules can pose challenges to accessing the provincial network of testing centres. The initiative is also expected to improve access to general healthcare – up to 14 per cent of Canadians do not have a family physician and that percentage is even higher within the trucking industry. During the pilot, DriverCheck will providing access to its virtual care platform for the commercial driver community.
“Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott championed a great program, which for the first time allows many Ontarians to access doctors remotely and improves access to medical assistance for commercial truck drivers who do not have a physician for potential COVID-19 and other medical issues,” said Carruth.
The pilot will be operated directly by DriverCheck and the Ministry of Health over the summer. At its conclusion, the program will be reviewed for its effectiveness toward improving access to COVID-19 testing for the trucking sector.
“First and foremost, we are humbled by the opportunity to make a difference in Ontario by improving access to physicians as well as COVID-19 testing for truckers,” said Connor Page, Vice President of Strategy at DriverCheck.
“The trucking industry is the lifeline of our economy and is doing an amazing job already at containing the virus. With this new voluntary testing regime, we are ensuring truck drivers have better access to COVID-19 testing based on their challenging work schedules.”
DriverCheck was founded in 1996 and is the leading provider of workplace medical testing and assessments in Canada, serving over 6,400 employers in a variety of industries including transportation, oil & gas, aviation, rail, mining, construction, healthcare, manufacturing and forestry. DriverCheck conducts hundreds of thousands of medical tests annually, offering alcohol and drug testing, occupational health services, medical cannabis review services, medical staffing and injury management programs. In response to the pandemic, DriverCheck has pivoted quickly to provide COVID-19 related services that allow companies to take control of their workplace safety, including their innovative online symptom reporting application, DC Access.
“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney has worked with all of the trucking industry to assist in maintaining uninterrupted delivery of goods required by Ontarians. Today’s announcement is a reflection of that collaborative approach and symbolic of her deep understanding of the unique issues facing truckers and value the trucking industry brings to the Ontario economy,” added Carruth.
Additional Industry Feedback:
- “The Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada (WTFC) will be working to promote this important pilot to its members,” said Shelley Uvanile-Hesch, CEO, WTFC. “Minister Mulroney is committed to assisting our sector and our organization will continue to work with Minister Mulroney to protect the health and safety of our drivers and the provinces economy.”
- “The Private Motor Truck Council (PMTC)has been working with Minister Mulroney and MTO to ensure that the trucking industry’s needs are top of mind at Queen’s Park,” said Mike Millian, president, PMTC. This pilot will help our members and their drivers keep product moving safely and efficiently while assisting in the protection of the health and welfare of Ontario’s highway heroes.”
- “The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) appreciates Minister’s Mulroney commitment to this pilot. As an active owner-operator I can tell you the professional driving community is very committed to health and safety and has implemented multiple measures to protect themselves and fellow Canadians against the spread of COVID-19. Improving the access to testing can only help us in the fight against COVID-19,” said OOIDA board member, Johanne Couture.
The Province of Ontario will be covering all costs associated with the pilot. Drivers and companies utilizing the DriverCheck services will not be charged any amount to have the COVID-19 test conducted. To learn more about the DriverCheck pilot please contact: (insert DriverCheck contact).
To see the full Government of Ontario news release, click here.