Routine COVID-19 testing can protect your employees from the health risks associated with SARS-CoV-2 and ensure that your workplace is safe for both your staff and customers. To ensure your practices are up to date with the current COVID-19 testing and vaccine information, it's important to keep your commercial COVID-19 testing plan flexible and reassess as needed as the pandemic evolves.
Can Employers Require COVID-19 Testing?
Under federal law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that employers can require employees to test for COVID-19. But it's important to note that in California, compensation is needed for any required time taken, or distance traveled, for COVID-19 testing.
Is COVID-19 Testing Still Needed?
Over the past few years, even with the protection vaccines have brought our communities in Martinez, COVID-19 testing has become a standard practice. And with the recent spread of the Omicron BA.5 and BA.4 subvariants, testing has never been so important due to experts stating that the subvariants pay little to no attention to pre-existing immunity and have shown signs of being more contagious.
When Is COVID-19 Testing Needed?
Taking the time to assess the COVID risks in your business and community can help you determine how often testing should be done. Some things to consider include:
- The risk that someone infected may enter your building
- The risk of how easily one infected employee could spread the virus
- The risk of how bad an outbreak would be in your workplace
Once you understand the risk of COVID-19 in your business, you can match your risk with the best frequency of testing:
- Low Risk – Have employees test when symptomatic or exposed.
- Low to Moderate Risk – Have employees test when symptomatic, exposed, and one to two times per month.
- High Risk – Have vaccinated employees test twice per month or when symptomatic or exposed. Have unvaccinated employees test an additional one to two times per week to reduce transmission.
Regardless of what your plan may be today, it may be different tomorrow. Since the beginning of the pandemic, researchers have been learning about the virus, but new developments occur every day.
What Are Your Options for COVID-19 Testing in Your Business?
When it comes to COVID-19 testing, there are several factors to consider. Testing your employees for the virus can help protect against transmission and spread, as well as provide peace of mind for your employees.
There are several options for testing for COVID-19 in commercial settings:
Testing Employees for Current COVID-19 Infection: Antigen vs. PCR
Whether you need antigen or PCR testing, it's important to know that both require a simple nose or throat swab sample. These tests produce results quickly, so you'll be able to make an informed choice regarding your next steps to stop transmission within your business.
Rapid Viral Testing (Antigen)
While the pandemic's beginning saw long lines for testing, self-administered antigen tests have grown in popularity and become easier to obtain. This type of testing is convenient because it allows individuals to test themselves for current infections without the need to travel to a local testing ite or laboratory, as well as an easy way for you to test an employee whenever you want.
Additionally, antigen tests produce results quicker than a PCR test, but come at the cost of being less accurate. If resources allow, double testing can easily be done to confirm results.
Traditional Laboratory Testing (Standard Viral Testing (PCR) & Antibody Tests)
If you're looking for the most accurate COVID-19 testing for your business, or an employee is looking for antibody testing, consider working with a laboratory testing center for help.
Rapid Viral Testing (PCR)
PCR tests can be used to test for COVID by swabbing a person's nose or throat, similar to an antigen test. PCR tests are said to be more accurate, but results can take longer because samples must be sent to a traditional testing lab. Fortunately, results will still be available in under 48 hours.
Testing Employees for Past Infection: Antibody Testing
Even though testing for past infections doesn't necessarily prevent the spread of COVID around your building, and the EEOC has stated that employees cannot be required to take any kind of antibody test, it is still important to provide your employees with the proper resources to have antibody testing done if wanted.
Serology testing is considered the most accurate method of testing for antibodies, especially when done within 14 days of exposure or seven days after symptoms end. A blood sample is taken from the individual and tested for COVID-19 antibodies. The results are available in three to four business days!
Need Help Planning Your COVID-19 Business Strategy?
Testing for COVID is one of the best things you can do to stop the spread. Whether you're looking to introduce routine testing into your business for the first time or increase your team's testing capability based on a rise in community transmission, seek help from a local testing laboratory.
Turn to ARCpoint Labs of Martinez for Commercial COVID-19 Testing Services
At ARCpoint Labs of Martinez, we help keep your workplace safe by partnering with you to create a COVID-19 plan that ensures you take every measure necessary to keep your business running smoothly and safely.
We can provide you with everything you need to test your employees for COVID, including:
- Testing and screening services
- Weekly employee antigen tests for unvaccinated employees
- PCR tests
- COVID-19 travel testing for business trips
- Tru-Immune™ testing
- COVID surveillance to limit the spread of the virus
ARCpoint Labs of Martinez provides flexible solutions to fit the needs of our various clients at their place of business and in our local testing lab. From restaurants to offices, we have experience working with countless local businesses in Martinez, so you can be confident that you're in trusted hands with our team!
Regardless of what you need to complete your business COVID-19 testing plan, ARCpoint Labs of Martinez is here to help. Contact us online to schedule your testing appointment or call us at (925) 957-6870 to request your testing consultation!