Sowingo has partnered with the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) to provide its registered members with free Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Tests and 3M Aura N95 masks courtesy of the Ontario Together Fund (OTF) and the Ontario government through the ODA Supply Hub.
The $50 million OTF supports manufacturing and innovation that helps combat COVID-19 and provides goods and services critical to the health, safety, and security of Ontarians. Also, the Ontario government has made a five-year commitment to purchase a significant annual quantity of the masks from a new 3M production line in Brockville, Ontario.
“Sowingo is eager and excited to help assist the Ontario government in ensuring rapid tests are readily available and in the hands of every dental professional across the province,” said Dr. Paul Bhatti, CEO and founder of Sowingo. “Point-of-care testing (POCT) will be a crucial step in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.”
Rapid testing is a screening method that can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by identifying cases that may otherwise have been missed. Dental practices will have the opportunity to test employees on-site one to three times per week and receive results in approximately 15 minutes.
With its cloud-based e-commerce and inventory management platform, Sowingo said, the company is well positioned to process orders quickly and efficiently. To access the free government-supplied COVID-19 antigen rapid tests and N95 masks, ODA members first must register with Sowingo using their office information and association member number. Once an account has been created, members can order tests and masks on an ongoing basis at no charge.
“As a practicing dental surgeon, I’ve witnessed firsthand how the limited supply of N95 masks has affected the profession’s ability to keep its employees and patients protected,” said Bhatti. “With Ontario’s long-term commitment and Sowingo’s partnership with the ODA, we have the opportunity to connect practitioners to government-sponsored programs so that dental professionals can continue to provide safe oral healthcare to their communities.”
Dental professionals who are considering conducting antigen POCT in their practice must do so with applicable guidance set out by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the chief medical officer of health, and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO). Dentists are encouraged to visit the RCDSO website for more information and guidance about POCT.
“In our efforts to provide Ontario dental professionals with proper guidance on point-of-care testing, Sowingo will be hosting a free webinar for members by leading industry experts,” said Bhatti. “These initiatives will hopefully slow down the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that the health and safety of our communities remain a top priority.”