Are You Testing for COVID?

Executive Summary (TL;DR)
When testing for COVID, know your lab and who provides the tests.

Free Webinar Wednesday September 16th at 11:30AM
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Not all lab instruments are created equal. Most diagnostic manufacturers use biotin streptavidin as their binding agent in their testing process. While Biotin is extremely beneficial in cellular health and popularized as the “Beauty Vitamin” by some of Hollywood biggest superstars, its prevalence as dietary supplement, can cause false positive and false negative results. Biotin interference became a problem following a death due to inaccurate lab results. Since then the FDA has issued multiple warnings of potentially inaccurate results. “The FDA is aware of people taking high levels of biotin that would interfere with lab tests.” (https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/fda-warns-biotin-may-interfere-lab-tests-fda-safety-communication) None of Abbott’s platforms are impacted by biotin interference; making Abbott the world’s leader in 6 sigma tests.

Testing for COVID

RNA – RNA is a quick 5-minute test that tells you if you currently have an active case of COVID-19.

IgM – The IgM test, when positive, indicates that the person is still infectious but may not be exhibiting signs or symptoms.

IgG – The IgG test results indicate whether the person has antibodies meaning that at some point prior they had COVID-19.

testing lab

These tests, when taken together, can help a business make smarter decisions about their return to work policy. For example, if a person tests positive in both the IgM and IgG tests, that is a fair indication that they are nearing the end of their infections stage and actively developing antibodies. What this means for the company is that the employee could potentially return to work in just a few days as opposed to the standard two weeks or 14 days. This helps with business continuity and increases employee confidence in their company’s ability to provide a safe and healthy workplace.

Have a Plan

Having a complete proactive COVID testing protocol in place is the best way to assure the health of your employees by capturing the data and stopping the spread of the virus by those asymptomatic individuals. Additionally, having a full circle COVID plan will strategically optimize productivity while minimizing your overall liability.

COVID-19: What To Expect When You Return To Work

With people returning to work both employees and employers want to know what to expect when they walk into their workplace and how COVID-19 has change our work environment. 

COVID-19 Illustration
COVID-19
  • What new safety measures are in place to protect employees and the general public? 
  • What policies have been created or updated to better protect employees from infection? 
  • What are the responsibilities of the employee and the employer? 
  • How can we return to work with confidence? 

These are just a few of the questions that will be answered during this webinar.

The first portion of this webinar is a presentation just as we did in the last webinar. However, based on your suggestions, we added a question and answer section at the end.

What We’ve Learned About COVID-19

Over the last month we’ve seen a lot of changes take place in how we conduct business. From interfacing with the public to working from home, the face and features of our workplace have been drastically altered. Keeping up with the continually updating information, recommendations, and speculation that we receive daily has been overwhelming and can be more than a little confusing.

Our safety consultants, TC Gore and Joe Woodman, have been working diligently with clients to help them respond to current needs and prepare for what comes next. They’ve done this by taking their extensive medical and bio-hazard experience that they both have and coupling that with constant attention to the ever changing data coming from the CDC, OSHA, and other agencies and digesting all that information into meaningful and actionable next steps.

On Wednesday April 1st we hosted a a quick lunch and learn during which TC and Joe discussed what they’re doing to help business react and prepare for what comes next.

Coronavirus or COVID-19

If you’ve seen the news or even just been outside over the last couple months you’ve hear something about the coronavirus or COVID-19.

coronavirus image

There are now cases being reported in the United States making education and preparedness extremely important.

The CDC is always a great source of information and they currently have a section of their website dedicated to COVID-19 found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/

qr code to access coronavirus pdf

We’ve read over the information on the CDC website and have compiled the basics of of the virus’s spread, symptoms, and prevention.

The information below is also available for download as a PDF or scan this QR code to access the same file with your smart phone.

How the Virus is Spread

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • Contact with infected surfaces or objects (this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads)

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

Symptoms of Coronavirus

For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

Prevention

face mask

Recommended everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.