As businesses across the country continue to adapt to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, regular Covid-19 testing is vital to keep workplaces and workforces safe and operational. This is especially true in the logistics & transport sector, along with other industries where employees can’t do their jobs from home.
AlphaBiolabs was one of the first companies in the world to release a commercially available coronavirus testing kit in the early days of the first nationwide lockdown. Using their wealth of experience in DNA, drug & alcohol testing, the company has now developed a suite of coronavirus testing options.
Lateral flow testing
Lateral flow tests (also known as rapid antigen tests) are easy to administer on-site and can identify a current Covid-19 infection in just 15 minutes. If an employee tests positive, they can immediately be removed from the workplace and sent home to self-isolate. If other workers have come into contact with the infected individual, they can also be quickly identified and asked to isolate – further safeguarding other employees and limiting the spread of the virus.
If a member of staff receives a negative test result, they can continue to work – as long as they feel well and nobody else in their household or support bubble has tested positive or has symptoms.
A major advantage of the lateral flow test is that it can be self-administered, limiting interaction with other staff and reducing the risk of an outbreak. The test requires samples from the throat and nose using a sterile swab. The swabs are then dipped in a special solution, which is then dropped onto a plastic cassette that looks similar to a pregnancy test. The result appears on the device within around 15 minutes.
The lateral flow antigen test can also detect the new, more contagious Covid-19 variant – VUI 202012/01.
Setting aside 15 minutes at the start of each day or shift to adhere to a Covid-19 testing programme could pay enormous dividends, especially when an asymptomatic carrier is identified and therefore prevented from unwittingly infecting other members of staff.
PCR testing is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to Covid-19 testing. This test involves sending the samples back to a professional laboratory for analysis.
The PCR test can be self-administered by the employee or overseen by a company nurse or occupational health professional. Again, samples are taken from the nose and throat using a swab. The samples are then sent back to the laboratory, where they are processed using the latest, cutting-edge automated PCR extraction methods. The results will typically be returned within 1–2 business days.
A PCR test is a more sensitive test and can pick up some infections that lateral flow tests can’t, particularly in the early stages of an infection.
Keeping your business safe & operational
With regular Covid-19 workplace testing you can reassure your employees, reduce unnecessary absenteeism, keep your staff healthy, and demonstrate to stakeholders that your business is safe and fit to operate.
You can view the full range of AlphaBiolabs Covid-19 testing options here.
Along with Covid testing, AlphaBiolabs also provides a range of workplace drug testing and alcohol testing services. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0333 600 1300 for more information.