Crosslinx launches mandatory rapid COVID-19 testing program at LRT construction sites

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Crosslinx Transit Solutions, the consortium building the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, has launched a rapid COVID-19 testing program at all construction sites.

“Crosslinx is committed to remaining an industry leader when it comes to protecting the health of the people who are building this project in communities right across Eglinton,” said Bill Henry, Crosslinx president and project director.

“Rapid testing is a critical addition to what we’ve already mandated to keep our workforce healthy and confident coming to work.”

Crosslinx, through partner company EllisDon, has joined a rapid testing pilot program launched by the Ontario Ministry of Labour and the Ontario Ministry of Health.

EllisDon launches voluntary COVID-19 rapid testing pilot program with Ministry of Health

“I am very supportive of rapid testing initiatives that will help ensure workers are safe and that vital construction sites remain open,” said Ron Kelusky, Ontario’s chief prevention officer and assistant deputy minister, ministry of labour.

Testing will take place based on a rotating schedule at all Crosslinx sites across Eglinton, starting with three sites – Leaside, Golden Mile and the Eglinton Maintenance Storage Facility.

Participation in the Crosslinx rapid testing program is mandatory, with registered nurses administering the Panbio antigen test twice weekly to asymptomatic workers. Individuals who test positive are required to contact Toronto Public Health and arrange a PCR test.

In addition to communicating directly with project workers and subcontractors, Crosslinx is working with the Central Ontario Building Trades (COBT) and the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) to promote the benefits of rapid testing to union members and subcontractors.

“As the pandemic continues to rage and, sadly, there are more and more delays with the vaccine, testing is going to be instrumental in protecting our workers from this deadly virus,” said James St. John, business manager at COBT.

“In our continued efforts to ensure the health and safety of our workers in the field, we commend Crosslinx for taking this action and for securing these rapid tests.”

The program meets all public health and legislative requirements with respect to administering the test, reporting positive test results, protection of personal health information and workplace health and safety.

Crosslinx will provide the Ontario Ministry of Health with data from the pilot to support an increased understanding of how rapid antigen testing could be deployed more broadly to support provincial COVID-19 response activities.

The Crosslinx program will evolve based on the results from the pilot as well as future government guidelines. Additional COVID-19 management protocols will continue, including:

  • Implementing all municipal, provincial and federal COVID health and safety requirements
  • Altering work processes to maintain physical distancing
  • Mandating mask use at all times regardless of physical distancing
  • Proactively reporting positive cases to Toronto Public Health prior to the requirement to do so
  • Staggering start times, breaks and lunches
  • Limiting the movement of people between sites
  • Requiring everyone to complete a daily health questionnaire.
  • Ticketing and disciplining people who are not compliant with COVID-19 protocols

Crosslinx , a joint venture of ACS-Dragados, Aecon, EllisDon and SNC-Lavalin, is responsible for designing, financing, building and maintaining the 19-km Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Crosslinx has 24 construction sites located across Eglinton Avenue between Black Creek Drive and Kennedy Road and a workforce of 1,500.

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