There’s a lot of uncertainty as businesses re-open in this new COVID-19 era.
Luckily, thanks to the fast work of scientists and researchers, there are more preventative measures and protocols workplaces can use to keep workers safe.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, TotalWellness has worked with its national network of lab and medical partners and leading epidemiologists to develop COVID-19 support solutions for employers.
Plus, between 25 to 80% of people with COVID-19 have no symptoms and aren’t aware they are infected, making it easier to spread.
That’s why TotalWellness has decided to offer COVID-19 testing and antibody testing for companies. We also offer temperature screenings, too.
Below, we share what our testing looks like and why your company may want to consider it.
COVID-19 Testing: What It Looks Like
As companies transition back into working in the physical workplace, employers have a responsibility to keep their workers as safe as possible. Providing screening and COVID-19 testing measures at the workplace is one way to do so.
It’s important to know there are two different types of tests when it comes to detecting the virus: diagnostic tests and antibody tests.
The difference between the two:
- Diagnostic test - This shows if you have an active infection. Within diagnostic testing options, there are two types of diagnostic tests available. This includes molecular (RT-PCR tests), which detect a virus’s genetic material. An antigen test shows specific proteins on the virus’s surface.
- Antibody test - This test checks for antibodies created by the immune system in response to threats like a virus. Antibodies fight infections and can take up to several weeks to develop post-infection. Due to this, antibody tests aren’t recommended for diagnosing an active COVID-19 infection. Researchers are still unsure if antibodies provide immunity to future coronavirus infections in a person.
TotalWellness now offers both types of testing. With our national network of 7,000 health care professionals, we are well equipped to provide testing for a variety of workplaces.
The Benefits of Testing in the Workplace
By providing on-site testing, employers show that employee safety and wellness are number one during these uncertain times. It also removes any doubt among employees that anyone is bringing COVID-19 into the workplace.
Additionally, on-site COVID-testing:
- Offers real-time feedback - This testing provides a quantitative real-time picture of your workforce’s health status so you can safely get everyone back to work.
- Updates your workplace health status daily - Secure testing allows you to gain visibility into the COVID-19 status of your workforce. This insight can be used to create workforce restart solutions that are tailored to the employees, the work environment, and the operational needs of your organization.
Employees who do test positive can also quickly get any healthcare assistance they need early on and also quarantine themselves sooner too.
How Does TotalWellness COVID-19 Testing Work?
We handle all aspects of the COVID-19 testing implementation, including providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for our team, testing supplies, staffing, sample processing, and reporting. You just have to spread the word to employees of when and where the testing will be done.
- Administer antibody testing
- Perform SARS-CoV-2 saliva testing
- Provide RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 testing with a nasal swab
- Do on-site temperature checks and screening questionnaires
We recommend having a TotalWellness healthcare professional at your facility for an extended amount of time, possibly even multiple days a week. Employees can schedule appointments throughout the day, through our online tool, Register My Time.
This healthcare professional can shift between COVID-19 testing, antibody testing, or temperature screenings, depending on your on-site needs.
TotalWellness COVID-19 On-Site Testing Options
We offer three different types of testing to see if your staff is positive for COVID-19. These tests are both efficient and accurate options.
The three options include:
- Nasal Swab Testing - Also known as RT-PCR, these tests are fairly quick, sensitive, and reliable. The test uses PCR technology and detects genetic information that indicates an active infection and that the virus is present. Our test detects the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) from a nasal swab. The “long” nasopharyngeal nasal swabs have been the current gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis.
How long does it take? Each test takes approximately five minutes, which means we can screen 12 people per hour. Results are available within 72 hours.
- Saliva Testing - Another option for COVID-19 testing is our saliva-based molecular test. Saliva test uses the same diagnostic RT-PCR assay as the nasal swab tests. Initial research from Yale University shows that saliva tests are just as sensitive as nasal swabs for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infections. Nasal swab tests can be uncomfortable. Saliva tests are minimally invasive, thus easier to gather a sample from participants.
How long does it take? Each test takes approximately four minutes, which means we can screen 15 people per hour. Results are available online within four days. Participants will receive results via text or email.
- Antigen Testing - The Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA is a point-of-care test for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 in nasal or nasopharyngeal specimens from employees. Antigen is generally detectable in upper respiratory specimens during the acute phase of infection.
How long does it take? We can run 25 tests per hour per each machine. Results are available within 15-minutes.
What Happens if an Employee Tests Positive?
If a participant tests positive, a health professional will call them to review results. The lab will report positive COVID-19 results to the appropriate public health agency in accordance with applicable requirements.
COVID-19 Antibody Testing
We also offer serology testing, known as coronavirus antibody testing. This checks for different types of antibodies that develop after COVID-19 exposure. This test uses a CRL Clear kit, which is a dried blood spot finger prick test. This includes checking for the presence of IgA, IgM, and IgG antibodies, which are produced at different stages of the immune system response.
This makes it easy to determine how recent exposure was. Here’s a look at when the antibodies show up post-exposure:
- IgA – 1st antibody to appear post-exposure (2-3 days)
- IgM – measures recent exposure (5-7 days)
- IgG – long term measure
How long does it take? Each test takes approximately four minutes, which means we can screen 15 people per hour. Results are available within 72 hours. Participants will receive a text or email with the results.
A positive test result indicates the individual has been previously infected by COVID-19 and has developed antibodies that might provide the participant with immunity. The CRL Clear kit is based on the Roche Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test, which has received the CE mark and US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization.
Note: When performed in combination, the RT-PCR test and antibody test will provide a more complete picture of the COVID-19 status of your workforce. Together, they improve the accuracy of detection.
Are the Tests FDA Approved?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized two different types of tests (diagnostic and antibody tests) for use during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are currently no FDA-approved or cleared tests for COVID-19. However, the FDA offers emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for unapproved products or new uses for approved items in urgent situations where no suitable alternatives exist.
To date, the FDA has authorized 120 tests under EUAs, which include 104 molecular tests, 15 antibody tests, and 1 antigen test.
The tests TotalWellness is offering have received EUA status.
Return to Work Strategies to Keep in Mind
As we return to this new normal, you may find that employees are anxious or apprehensive about coming back to work. Reassuring your staff that health and safety is your leadership’s number one priority can help ease them back into normal workplace operations.
Just as you count on your employees, they’re counting on you to bring them back into a safe and healthy workplace. Ensuring compliance with current CDC recommendations and providing extra health measures can make the process smoother.
We have a few reminders that you may find helpful to implement:
Make Sanitation a Priority
Keep sanitation of all personal items and common areas a high priority in the upcoming weeks. Handwashing has been proven again and again to be an effective way to reduce the spread of germs.
A few other tips:
- Keep handwashing at the forefront of everyone’s minds - Post fliers in bathrooms and hallways. Send out emails about appropriate handwashing measures, along with basic hygiene rules like covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
- Provide sanitizer - Keep sanitizer in high-touch areas like the reception area, kitchen, and near stairwells.
- Encourage daily cleanings - Ask employees to wipe down surfaces that get touched often including their desks, phones, keyboards, etc.
Keep Social Distancing in Mind
Increasing physical space between employees in your workplace may be a bit of a challenge, especially for smaller offices. But you can get creative with solutions to maintain appropriate social distance.
How to do it:
- Allow for remote work
- Downsize unnecessary operations
- Allow flexible work hours (like staggered shifts)
- Increase physical space between employees and customers
- Implement flexible meeting and travel options
Provide COVID-19 Testing
Last but not least, consider testing. Because so many individuals are asymptomatic, there’s not always a tell-tale sign of a positive COVID-19 individual. Science-backed testing is the only way to know for sure. Consider offering it at your workplace for the real-time status of your employees’ health.
Interested in having a TotalWellness healthcare professional in your workplace for COVID-19 testing services? Contact our team for pricing information.