11 Jul How Long Does It Take To Test Employees For Covid?
As the global economy begins to recover after the devastating financial effects of Covid-19 lockdowns, many employers have their eyes on the safety of their staff. If you are currently working on opening your physical workplace up to employees, you should consider onsite Covid testing to ensure that your staff and your workflow are protected. You can test employees for Covid quickly, with each screening taking only a few minutes per person. This can help you save time, money, and unexpected additional expenditures due to an outbreak in your organization. Let’s discuss your testing options.
Understanding the Covid-19 tests
At the beginning of the lockdown, global headlines announced the difficulties of having enough tests available for those who needed to be tested. Fortunately, throughout the entire pandemic, the medical community has been able to catch up with the demand.
While the initial screening to receive a test disqualified certain people across the US, we can now test as a preemptive approach to ensure that the workplace remains open and a safe working environment. There are various Covid tests that we offer for our corporate partners to ensure they match their needs with their budget.
Types of tests
There are two basic tests to detect if the virus is present and active. These are the antigen tests and PCR tests.
- The rapid antigen test is used to detect proteins unique to Covid-19 and identify the virus in individuals who are currently infected with the illness. This test typically takes 30 minutes to return results.
- The PCR tests check for the RNA that is unique to Covid-19. These tests have higher accuracy than the antigen test. PCR tests take 1-2 business days to get the results.
While both tests determine if the virus is present, the PCR test is the most accurate approach. Additionally, while the antigen test has frequently been referred to as the rapid test, a rapid PCR test is now available.
Whether you need the most accurate test on the market or screen employees quickly, we have the testing options to suit your needs.
What is the antibody test?
In addition to the tests above, there is a third type of test that is called an antibody test. This test does not identify active cases of Covid-19 but determines if the individual has previously had Covid-19. There is also a rapid version of the antibody test that yields a result in just 15 minutes.
Test employees for Covid at the workplace
At Concierge MD, we understand that our Los Angeles community is busy. You need to know, “how long does it take to test employees for Covid?” That is why we offer onsite testing services. That means that we can come to your company and conduct tests – literally hundreds of tests – in a single day.
Now, you don’t have a group of employees that has to leave and travel across the city to obtain testing. This helps to maintain daily productivity and keep your company looking to the future.
Additionally, we also offer the ability to schedule recurring visits. If you have employees that weren’t present on the first day we offered testing, we can make sure they get tested the next time we come to your office. You can also set up a routine testing schedule to ensure that if an employee contracts Covid-19, it is quickly identified and handled appropriately.
Maintaining a testing schedule
As more employees begin returning to the office to conduct business, the CDC is working to implement guidelines for employers to maintain healthy workplaces. One of the first approaches is to develop a plan for identifying individuals who are currently infected. If you have an employee who is having symptoms of Covid-19, they should leave the workplace and get tested.
In the meantime, you should implement your workplace health and safety plan to help limit the spread through the rest of your staff. You can use the help of your local health authority to determine contact tracing and identify other individuals who came in close contact with a potential case. These employees should also self-isolate and follow the recommended CDC steps.
The value of regular tests
Many cases of Covid-19 have been asymptomatic, meaning that infected individuals don’t have any symptoms of being sick. To help quickly identify cases in the workplace before an infection spreads, we recommend setting up a testing schedule for your workplace. A routine program can help you identify the virus in employees even before they begin to have symptoms or for asymptomatic individuals. Quickly identifying and acting to reduce the spread can help maintain a safe working environment.
Testing schedules can vary widely based on the details of your business. There are specific factors that you should understand to develop the most beneficial approach to testing. Some of the particular elements that you should consider are:
- The type of business: Is your organization considered a critical infrastructure company?
- The number of employees: While higher numbers of employees may have a higher potential to introduce infection, even a small outbreak can cripple a smaller organization.
- Office structure: If your office is structured so that each employee has their own office and doesn’t constantly interact with others, you likely have a reduced potential to spread the virus. In contrast, open workspaces or frequently used communal areas can increase the need for testing.
- Cleaning routine: During the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, many offices included increased sanitization and cleaning practices to help eliminate potential outbreaks. However, as the infection rates have dropped, several companies have also cut back on their sanitation practices. Unfortunately, this approach may mean that your staff is more susceptible to contracting the virus.
Using a professional medical service to test employees for Covid helps to take the worry out of the entire process. We come to your workplace and identify an appropriate area where we can test all of your employees while still allowing your business to operate. Additionally, because we are trained medical professionals, we handle all of the testing, notification, and privacy practices, so you don’t have to worry about violating an individual’s privacy in the workplace. These factors help position Concierge MD as your best bet in the fight against the virus.
How to handle a positive case
If you can identify an individual who is currently infected with Covid-19 or an employee notifies you that they have tested positive, there are some additional criteria to follow.
- If it has been less than seven days since an employee was in the office, you should employ additional cleaning measures in the specific areas where the employee visited. Make sure that this includes their workspace and any common places that they may have visited. This includes entrances, exits, elevators, stairwells, cafeterias, bathrooms, or meeting rooms.
- If the employee finds out they have been infected but have not been to the office in more than seven days; then you do not need to include additional levels of cleaning. However, you should continue to clean routinely.
- When an employee tests positive, you should also find out who that individual was in close contact. As defined by the CDC, close contact is being within 6 feet of an individual for a prolonged period.
As you identify individuals who may have been in close contact with an infectious coworker, it is crucial to notify them of their potential exposure while still protecting an individual’s confidentiality. This is not just good practice but also required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ways to minimize the risk of workplace exposure
If your office can keep some employees working remotely while some need to be at the physical workplace, you may need to identify some qualifying criteria for staff. This may include allowing individuals who have already been fully vaccinated to return to the office.
Additionally, many organizations have established temperature checks and short questionnaires to identify potential infectious individuals. In these cases, you may be able to quickly identify sickness and stop it before it spreads.
While temperature checks and questionnaires can help identify some infections, they are not always accurate. For this reason, many employers also set up routine testing sites at the workplace to identify any potential infections. While PCR tests are the most precise testing means, antigen tests can increase accuracy over temperature checks.
One distinction the CDC has made is not to use the Covid-19 antibody test as a qualifying criterion for the workplace. The antibody test is only helpful at determining if somebody has previously been infected with Covid-19 but does not identify active or contagious cases.
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Test Employees For Covid With Fast Onsite Screenings
A single positive case in your workplace may be an ideal time to initiate Covid-19 testing with Concierge MD. This can help quickly identify additional infections in the workplace and help unaffected individuals to continue working with a clean bill of health and a clear conscience.
If you need Covid-19 testing in Los Angeles or select cities across the US, call us today. We offer personalized pricing dependent on your organization’s size or the frequency of testing. Quickly finding and isolating infectious individuals allows you to implement cost-effective procedures to keep your doors open and your staff safe.