Testing is one of the most important things you can do to provide a safe workplace for your staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a few different ways of testing your staff, but which method is best?
1. Taking temperatures at the door
Using a thermal scanner is one way to help keep COVID-19 out of your workplace. This handheld device typically runs on a couple of batteries and requires next to no training to use – simply point at the target’s forehead and scan. Employees who are running a fever should not be allowed into the workplace and instead get tested for COVID-19.
Since the thermal scanner will read an elevated skin surface temperature from exertion as well as fever, employees who do run hot should be given an opportunity to cool down and a second round with the scanner.
Thermal scanners are inexpensive, easy to use, and can be administered quickly throughout the day.
A thermal scanner won’t catch people who are asymptomatic or who are infected but haven’t developed a fever yet.
2. Have your employees self-certify that they do not have COVID-19
Self-certification is a far more accurate way to verify whether an employee has COVID-19 or not. This means that your employees are responsible for getting tested and reporting their results to you.
Your employees can usually get tested at their doctor’s office, but they can also visit one of the many testing centers in Los Angeles if a test isn’t available with their GP.
Relying on your employees is effective if everyone gets tested and accurately reports their results in a timely fashion.
Self-certification is low-cost to you as the employer.
Delays in testing results, employees who do not want to get tested, and employees wanting to avoid lost days of work can all contribute to COVID-19 entering your workplace.
3. Provide COVID-19 tests at your place of business
You can provide COVID-19 testing in LA with a mobile medical service such as Concierge MD LA. Onsite testing typically takes place in a designated office or other private area in your building. A certified nurse (or team of nurses) will administer COVID-19 tests to all participating employees. The results of the test are available to both you and your employees for complete transparency.
Onsite COVID-19 testing at your workplace is a fast, convenient, and organized way to test your employees for the virus and keep your office COVID-free on a long-term basis.
Depending on the size of your office, can temporarily take up valuable space inside your building.
Types Of COVID-19 Tests For Businesses
The types of COVID-19 tests for businesses are the same as the ones you can get at testing centers, and each can help your workplace in a different way. Here are the differences between the three.
The RT-PCR is the most accurate test for COVID-19 done with an RT PCR machine. This test looks for signs of an active COVID-19 infection and is typically administered as a nasal swab. The sample that is collected must then be sent to a lab for processing. Results from the RT-PCR test are generally available within 3 business days.
The rapid antigen test, as the name suggests, gives you results quickly – typically in 15 minutes. This test looks for signs of an active COVID-19 infection and may be administered as a nasal swab or throat swab and is processed onsite. While very accurate, the rapid antigen test has a higher rate of false positives and false negatives (incorrect results) than the RT-PCR test.
Unlike the RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests, the antibody test is not intended to detect an active infection of COVID-19. Instead, the antibody test looks for signs of a previous infection. This test is typically administered as a blood draw or finger stick, and samples must be sent to a lab for processing with results generally available within 3 business days.
How can ongoing testing help your business?
The goal of ongoing testing is to catch asymptomatic carriers and help prevent the spread of the virus before the callouts begin. Ongoing testing is a valuable preventive measure that can complement a comprehensive workplace health campaign.
Other Ways To Keep Your Staff Healthy
In addition to providing ongoing testing, there are a few other things you can do to help keep your staff safe and healthy.
- Hire a professional cleaning service to sanitize and disinfect your workplace
- Reorganize your workspace where possible to accommodate recommended social distancing guidelines (6 feet apart)
- Encourage employees to work from home where possible and provide equipment to help them do so.
- Provide your employees with masks, gloves, cleaning wipes, sneeze guards, and other personal protective equipment to help them stay safe throughout the workday.
For further guidance on operating your business during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many resources to help you and your business operate as safely as possible.
Interesting related article: “What is the Coronavirus?”