By Michael Gorton, MS, JD, CEO, and founder of Recuro Health and Founding CEO and Chairman of Teladoc
Amid the Delta variant surge, rising number of cases and COVID-19 related deaths, and decisions regarding vaccinations, employers are reeling with the impact of the pandemic as the race continues to get all Americans fully vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID tracker, 176.7 million people are vaccinated in the U.S. as of September 2021.
These issues continue to challenge employers of every size and in every industry as companies struggle to “return to normal.” As a result, there is a sharp, increased demand for COVID At-Home and On-Site Testing solutions, with growing recognition that frequent or ongoing testing can ensure a safe return-to-work and employee participation at crucial meetings, events and conventions.
The need of expanded COVID testing for employees is undeniable. But the need is more than simply acquiring test kits. An optimal solution must support appropriate onboarding and eligibility, scheduling, test distribution, validation of results and aggregate reporting. What is required is a scalable solution that embodies a structured, integrated, end-to-end process that delivers more than just bulk testing supplies.
In fact, a new survey found that 83% of employers said they wanted to regularly supply these tests to their employees and 90% of employees said they were willing to take these tests to go back to work. General surveillance testing is key to reaching asymptomatic people who can spread the virus without even knowing it.
Regular testing is also essential because epidemiologists worry that COVID’s global spread will create more dangerous mutations going forward and that the deadly virus will remain as part of our lives for decades to come.
CDC Guidelines for Workplace-Based Testing
The CDC offers guidelines for workplace-based testing for SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID, that could identify workers with COVID infection and help either prevent or reduce transmission. This is particularly relevant for workers who are together for the same period for 8-12 hours per shift and have prolonged close contact within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more.
The CDC recommends a testing strategy for reducing transmission of the virus. Performing screening for COVID symptoms, testing and contact tracing are key to identifying those exposed to prevent disease transmission and possible outbreaks.
Employers Need the Right Testing Solution to Ensure Workplace Safety
Currently, there are many strategies for COVID-testing available to employers but they are not all the same.
We are among 12 technology companies that were selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and recognized for developing digital solutions to ensure that COVID-19 diagnostic testing data is efficiently, securely and accurately transmitted to key stakeholders, including federal, state, local and tribal governments, patients, providers, employers, schools, consumers and others.
Here’s what distinguishes a best-of-breed testing solution for at-home and on-site COVID testing:
- Provides a structured, end-to-end process that delivers more than just bulk testing supplies
- Meets all regulatory requirements (including FDA and OSHA) for employees’ safe return-to-work and participation in crucial meetings, events and conventions
- Offers front-end intake via a secure web portal access to capture registration, identity and information
- Tethers eligibility to test distribution and administration
- Immediacy of real-time results — 20-25 minutes
- Provides monitoring, tracking and back-end reporting
- Ensures easy access to physicians – anytime — via message-based or video interactions
- Assures transparent and competitive pricing
The optimal COVID-19 testing solution must be safe, customizable and compliant. Ideally, it should also readily integrate within an organization’s broader health and wellness strategy, be positioned to work with any primary physician and feature a simple design that is accessible and easy to use. The right solution will ensure a safe return to work as the Delta variant rages across the U.S. and many Americans remain unvaccinated.