Managing the new normal: Covid testing in the workplace?
The impact of COVID 19 on businesses is far-reaching and we will likely only see its true impact in the months and years to come, not to forget the outcomes of a potential second wave.
All the more reason not to take our eye off the ball yet says Rachel Davenport, Commercial Director at AlphaBiolabs – who specialise in COVID-19, DNA, drug and alcohol testing for workplaces, members of the public, and the legal sector.
Returning to normal
Businesses have begun to reopen their doors, juggling the requirements of social distancing, and increased sanitation. But for how long will this remain viable whilst, Operating at optimum capacity and staying open in the face of a global pandemic One solution, says Rachel, is with a robust, in-house COVID-19 testing program. By bringing testing into your company, managers will be equipped with information about their employees’ health and in a better position to make changes when staff members test positive.
Testing in the office allows employers to isolate and remove infected staff, provide reassurance to concerned employees, and positions you as a responsible employer, doing your utmost to keep your workforce safe and protected.
COVID-19 tests can be carried out on-site, either by the employee themselves or by a company nurse. Results of antibody tests can be available instantly, and results are sent back directly to you within 24-48 hours.
Are workers ready to go back?
“It’s now widely known that drug and alcohol consumption over lockdown has increased amongst Britain’s workforce. Those staffs are now returning to work and businesses face another task of making sure their staff are fit for work.”
The government appears to be in full support of this notion as Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “We are supportive of the ramp-up of testing if that helps businesses avoid blanket future lockdowns,”. At present, each standard test to detect the presence of the virus costs about £100, which is why only a handful of wealthy companies — such as Formula One, the Premier League, and some City of London employers — have introduced regular staff tests.
However, the pace of innovation in the diagnostics industry has led to the hope that the cost of a test could fall significantly in the coming months.
Downing Street said on Monday that the government was still waiting for the results of three existing pilots: on saliva tests, DNA “nudgebox” machines, and superfast tests. “We have through the pandemic increased our capacity to test for COVID and we have always been clear that we will continue to increase capacity,” a spokesman said. “We have three pilots underway and will continue to assess their viability.”