Calgary company sees demand for COVID-19 testing increase amid Alberta's new health restrictions
A Calgary company that offers mobile COVID-19 testing says demand for the service has increased significantly over the past few months and is expected to grow even more given Alberta's new Restriction Exception Program.
Numi is a health care hub that offers virtual care and mobile medical services. In addition to on-demand and at your doorstep COVID-19 testing, you can also book things like blood work and lab tests, sexual health tests and IV nutrient therapy.
Numi CEO Peter Verburg said though he came up with the idea for the company in 2017, its launch in 2020 happened to coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It put a bit more urgency into the whole project because it was obvious that the pandemic was really the mechanism that would create the market for a business like this," Verburg said.
The company also has COVID-19 testing at both Calgary and Edmonton's international airports.
"We're testing a very significant percentage of the people now that are heading out of Alberta on planes because of these airport locations."
Verburg said the demand for COVID-19 testing in general has definitely increased as of late.
"Our testing volumes have steadily grown over the last few months and we're now running – as of next week it should be 5,000 or 6,000 tests a week.
A lot of that is tied to the start up of travel again in the summer," he said. "There's been a pretty significant increase in travel-related testing."
"We've also had a significant increase in our corporate testing."
Numi is also used by educational institutions throughout the province to deliver rapid COVID-19 testing to students.
Verburg said as soon as Alberta's UCP government announced proof of vaccination requirements on Wednesday they began getting calls from people within the restaurant and entertainment industry.
"The fortunate thing for us is we did develop a platform that accommodates this kind of scaling."
He said Numi is hiring "constantly" and typically seeks to hire RNs or LPNs with a minimum of five years experience.
To have Numi come to your home or office you have to book using the Numi app. However, those looking for a COVID-19 test at one of Numi’s pop-up locations at the airport or a pharmacy must book through the Numi website.
Services are typically offered same day or next day.
The company has both antigen and PCR COVID-19 testing with results normally available within 24 hours. Testing is focussed on asymptomatic patients.
Mobile COVID-19 test results are shared via the Numi app or email. Printed certificates are also available.
"We do a lot of mobile COVID-19 testing but we've seen a very healthy ramp up in our other offerings as people become more aware of what we have to offer," he said.
"The idea for this company came up before the pandemic and we plan to be around for long after the pandemic."