Infectolab - COVID-19 testing

COVID-19: How To Monitor, Test & Manage Employees Once Lockdown Ends

The COVID-19 threat isn’t gone from communities, but lockdown measures have significantly slowed the spread of the virus, meaning businesses have begun opening their doors. When employers do start to open up, though, they need to put into place new practices to ensure that both employees and customers remain safe and healthy.

Employers will need to implement new testing measures, such as Infectolab’s COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. The PCR test is designed to confirm whether or not a person has contracted COVID-19, and can help employers limit contact with employees that test positive.

The downfalls of reopening the economy

Many people are anxious for the economy to reopen and for life to go back to normal. But following the spread of COVID-19, a new normal is to be expected so that a second dangerous wave doesn’t hit the communities that have fought so hard to slow the spread. If businesses begin to open prior to proper testing being available, it could spell a whole new level of disaster.

Certain parts of the world have been at a standstill and businesses have been forced to lay off thousands of employees. Some have even been forced to close their doors for good because of the direct hit their books have taken due to the widespread closures. This makes it even more important for businesses to ensure the proper procedures are taking place, because if another lockdown is needed, they may be forced to shut down all over again.

Infectolab - serology testing
Image by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash: Serology testing is accurate in the long run, but is best in combination with a PCR test as a way for employers to test for live infection.

The faults in COVID-19 testing

There are many obstacles involved in creating accurate testing procedures for COVID-19. Aside from numbers being affected by late testing or no testing of those who are infected but remain asymptomatic, the challenges many organizations and medical centers face is the level of accuracy of tests. Some tests are more accurate than others, but involve longer wait times for results and are often more expensive.

Serology testing, for example, is more accurate in finding out whether or not a person had the virus at some time in the past, as opposed to whether or not they are currently infected. A serology test detects antibodies created in response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This means that a person can be recovered from the virus and still test positive for its antibodies.

This type of test won’t be the first line of defense for managers, though, because it takes too long to return results and doesn’t detect active infections quickly enough.  

Will employee antibody testing for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus be available?

There are several types of tests used to confirm a positive diagnosis of COVID-19. The PCR test mentioned above looks for the RNA of the virus itself, and is most effective a few days following the onset of symptoms. The antibody test is designed to look for antibodies following the onset of symptoms and the infection. These tests are more generally used to gather data on numbers within communities, and not typically used to diagnose a current viral infection.

An antigen test also won’t be used as a first line of defense, because it is not as accurate as the PCR test. Instead, it will be used as a preemptive way to know if a person needs a PCR test. An antigen test does produce quick results, but is not as reliable as a PCR test, thus it acts as a screen rather than a definitive diagnosis.  

Testing employees for COVID-19 when lockdown measures have eased

Working from home has been encouraged for whichever businesses can do so, but for many, it’s just not a feasible option. So when the lockdown measures begin to ease and businesses begin to open, employers will need a surefire way to slow the spread by testing employees as they return to work and if they start to show symptoms.

PCR testing will be available for employers so they can ensure that no one slips through the cracks, and that their businesses and employees stay safe and healthy while the economy readjusts to these new times. Employers will need to ensure rigorous testing for employees is done on a regular basis, and as quickly as possible whenever a case is suspected.

Infectolab - mask
Image by Hanson Lu on Unsplash: Social distancing measures will still need to take place as businesses begin reopening their doors.

How to manage employees during coronavirus restrictions and reopenings

Getting the right tests for employees is the first step for managers and business owners in reopening their doors the safest way possible. The new PCR and serology monitoring tests designed by Infectolab will be a great way to help monitor all employees who may have come into contact with the virus or are presenting with symptoms.

Working together with employees, managers, and the public will help to keep the economy opening, while also keeping cases of SARS-CoV-2 down.

Featured image by CDC on Unsplash

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