What types of COVID-19 test are available for businesses?
The unpredictable nature of the coronavirus has caused many businesses to close, and to reconsider their operations upon reopening. While the general public have been encouraged to return to work, employers are still expected to put the appropriate measures in place to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. One of these methods is to give employees access to a COVID-19 test.
A company can choose to implement regular COVID-19 testing to closely monitor the health of their workforce, and make sure people self-isolate at the right time. If regular COVID-19 testing is not feasible, a company should still be able to carry out temperature checks on their staff before they enter the premises.
There are two main types of COVID-19 test which are ideal for businesses.
The first type is the PCR Test. This is a pathology-based test which determines if you are currently infected with COVID-19. Your employees must take a swab of their nose or throat, and place this into a sealed container with preservative liquid. This sample will then be sent to the laboratory for analysis. Medical researchers will confirm if genetic material linked to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is present within the sample. VIVO Clinic offer this type of pathology-based COVID-19 test. You can find out more here.
The second type of COVID-19 test is antibody testing. In contrast to PCR Tests, antibody tests establish if you have recently been infected with SARS-CoV-2. VIVO Clinic offer two forms of antibody testing. Both of these involve collecting a blood sample.
The IgG Antibody Test determines if Immunoglobulin G antibodies are present in the blood. IgG antibodies are created by the body at a later stage of infection and are associated with immunity. Initially, a qualified Medical Professional will collect a venous blood sample. Following sample collection, the blood sample will be sent to a laboratory. For the pathology-based IgG Antibody Test that is offered by VIVO Clinic, the samples are processed by London Medical Laboratory using Abbott’s Architect Machine. You can find out more about this here.
You should also consider using the Rapid Antibody Test. This type of COVID-19 test identifies both Immunoglobulin M and Immunoglobulin G antibodies in the blood. Sample collection must be undertaken by a Medical Professional, however, this will be through the finger-prick method. Once a sample has been collected, blood droplets will be applied to a test cassette. After buffer solution is added, your employees will be able to see their results in 10 minutes.
It is important to note that neither type of antibody test confirms that you are immune to COVID-19. There is no evidence that a person cannot be infected with SARS-CoV-2 more than once.
All these tests can help businesses to gradually re-integrate staff into the workplace and decide when it is safe for clients to interact with staff. You should make sure to research the different options, so you know which COVID-19 tests are right for you and your staff.