Testing your employees for Covid-19 is terrific. Truly: it helps keep the virus at bay, helps employees feel safe going to work on-site, and helps your company provide products and services to your customers as best it can.
But Covid-19 Testing Does No Good If Your Testing Provider Can’t Get Results Quickly
How quick is “quickly”? One or two days, max. Same day is best.
Here’s why a quick turnaround is so vital, as said by the director of the molecular virology lab at the University of Washington’s medical school:
“Every day they wait is another day [someone needs] to quarantine. Or if they’re not, it’s another day they could be infecting other people. If you’re getting results within 20 minutes you can start taking the appropriate actions right away.”
When the doctor says “appropriate actions,” he means self-isolation if someone discovers they have been infected with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Self-isolation/quarantine means the person infected won’t spread the infection to others.
Speedy Turnaround Means Quickly Finding Others Who Don’t Know They’re Infected
Covid-19 is considered to be very infectious because people who have been infected sometimes never come down with any symptoms (about 40 percent of cases). In addition, those who do eventually present symptoms often don’t do so for 2-14 days afterward infection (although they usually show up in about 11.5 days and the “mean incubation period” tends to be 5.1 days).
So people can spread the virus to others without ever knowing they have done so.
Contact Tracing Is Critical to Tamping Down the Spread
Once testing reveals if someone is infected, contact tracers need to get to work letting the people the infected person interacted with in the days right before the test that they may have been exposed to the virus. Doing so quickly helps those in contact with the infected person get tested themselves and then self-isolate/quarantine so that they don’t then unknowingly spread it.
And if those people get results quickly? Their contacts can be notified quickly and the testing/contact tracing process repeats itself. And speedily so.
Delayed Test Results Often Mean More Infections
Why? Because in the few days between getting tested and results coming in – some test result backlogs are in the 7-14 days range! – those tested and who don’t know they’re actually infected could be out and about infecting others! As this recent New York Times article states: long delays in Covid-19 testing results are “like having no testing.”
Bottom line: quick testing turnaround means a decline in the virus’ spread because those infected will know so and (one hopes) self-isolate and thereby spread it to no one else.
Quick Test Results Ensure a Healthy and Safe Work Environment
Imagine you decide to test employees for the coronavirus. Imagine again that you don’t get results back for a week and when you do, you find that one employee tested positive but never gets symptoms. But….in the week between testing and results, one of your employees gets sick yet his results come back negative. Which means that he more than likely got the virus from the unknowingly infected employee one or two days after the test!
How do you think you’d feel? How do you think your employees would feel? Do you think some of them may decide not to come to work? Do you think one or more of them would sue you?
Covid-19 Test Results Available in 15 Minutes
NDS Wellness provides qualitative finger poke Covid-19 tests for corporations. They take just 15 minutes for results to register so you and your employees will know pretty much immediately if they should self-isolate.
Everyone wins! With such quick results turnaround, your employees feel safe and protected by you. Contact tracers also can get to work reaching out to people with whom the employee(s) may have been in contact, thus helping to stop the virus’ spread. Learn more about our same-day results Covid-19 testing services for employers.