Bulk DIY testing kits for businesses are a recent development in the global fight to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
These kits are easy to use and can help reduce the spread of the virus alongside a workplace health campaign and social distancing. By helping your staff stay healthy, you keep your company operating as smoothly as possible.
Now that you’ve got your kits, how do you use a COVID-19 test to collect samples from your employees?
How to collect samples from your employees?
Hopefully, before you’ve ordered your kits, you’ve already determined who is and isn’t participating in onsite testing and had them sign waivers.
- Once your kits arrive, it’s important to plan for enough time to get all the tests done and packed before the last mail collection of the day. The samples will only stay in prime condition for a limited amount of time, after which the accuracy of the samples will decrease.
- You’ll also want to prepare a private, well-ventilated area for each employee to self-administer the test. A private bathroom or office with open windows are ideal. Make sure that there is cleaning equipment such as disinfectant sprays and/or wipes, hand sanitizer, and a sink, alcohol pads to wipe down the exterior of the packages (if the kits did not already come with alcohol pads included).
- Now that you’re ready to begin testing, distribute the DIY testing kits among your staff. Each kit should include instructions, so make sure that your staff is familiar with the process before beginning the tests.
How to use a DIY COVID-19 test for your staff
Have your staff sanitize the area before and after they perform the test, and also have them sanitize the outside of the collection package. This will help keep any potential infection from spreading.
The nasal swab is a straightforward process, and will typically follow these steps:
- Prepare the space and wash your hands
- Insert the nasal swab into one nostril to about 1”, or until you feel some resistance
- Rotate the nasal swab clockwise three times.
- Remove the nasal swab and repeat steps 2 and 3 In the other nostril.
- Place the sample in the tube, and then into the included packaging as instructed by the kit.
- Use gloves and face masks when you collect the kits from your staff and package them to be sent back to the laboratory.
This is a general overview of what to expect. There may be additional steps needed depending on the requirements of the kit you purchase.
Why is hiring a professional medical service the better option?
A professional medical service such as Drip Hydration is another way to get onsite COVID-19 testing for your staff. This service has several advantages.
- Not all states allow the sale and use of DIY tests.
- You don’t have to worry about rushing to get your shipment mailed out before the last shipment of the day.
- You don’t have to worry about samples being collected incorrectly.
- The testing process is streamlined and organized.
- You will receive professional medical advice about test results and guidance as to next steps if someone on staff does test positive.
- You can get ongoing testing to preempt the virus spread and keep your staff and customers healthy.
- You can get the rapid antigen test, which is not currently available for in-home or business use
COVID-19 testing employer and employee rights
In order to comply with the EEOC, employers are limited in what they can and cannot ask or do in regard to COVID-19 testing.
As an employer, you CAN:
- require your staff to get tested for COVID-19
- send an employee home if they are showing symptoms of the virus
- require a doctor’s note that certifies the employee is safe to return to work.
- ask your employees about the results of tests they perform on their own time
- require them to take the antibody test (a blood draw that detects the signs of a previous infection).
You can learn more about employer and employee rights during the pandemic here.
Communicating results to staff
If someone does test positive, you’ll need to communicate who was in contact with the individual. Check with the laws in your state on the type of wording you should use and what can and cannot be disclosed.
US Department of Labor: COVID-19 and the American Workplace
Safe And Streamlined COVID-19 Testing For Businesses With Drip Hydration
Drip Hydration conducts onsite workplace testing for businesses both large and small. We help you keep your workplace environment a safe and healthy place for your staff. Our service includes a consultation with a certified clinician who explains test results and provides further guidance as needed. Learn more about our service or book an appointment with us at the link below.