Importance of Employee COVID-19 Screening & Testing
Businesses must develop a plan to maintain a healthy work environment in order to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) coronavirus (COVID-19) safety guidelines. While employee screening and testing doesn’t 100% guarantee your business will remain safe from COVID-19, it does safeguard your business as much as possible and give you the ability to act quickly if your business or employees are exposed. When paired with preventative disinfection and incorporated into a business continuity plan, employee testing can be key to risk mitigation.
COVID-19 Employee screening and testing can:
- Help employers safely and responsibly maintain and/or increase work capacity, or return to work
- Inform decision making and create a plan for critical/essential employees
- Identify asymptomatic employees to prevent large percentage loss of workforce
- Give the vital information necessary to act quickly if an employee does become infected
Employee Screening & Testing Could Become a Requirement
As many local governments are forming reopening guidelines, we’re seeing an emphasis on employee screening and testing to aid in quick contact tracing. As such, businesses should keep an eye on evolving local and state guidelines and be proactive with their return to work plans. Planning ahead for future screening and employee testing will make the transition to ‘normal’ operations a little easier.
Importance of Verifiable Surface Testing
Testing surfaces in the workplace, especially high-touch ones, is critical in curbing the spread of COVID-19, especially since the virus can live on some surfaces for up to 17 days. Veriﬁable surface testing uses RT-PCR technology to determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the viral cause of COVID-19, on fomites (objects likely to carry diseases) and hard surfaces. Surface testing is an extra layer of measurability and accountability, and is imperative to both proactive controls and the efﬁcacy of containment measures. This process can be done pre or post-disinfection, and is recommended to be performed on a regularly scheduled basis after preventative disinfection.
antimicrobial vs. Disinfectant: What’s the Difference?
As businesses begin to reopen, you’ll find that they’re beginning to advertise their cleaning and disinfection regimens to make customers feel safe. Two of the most common terms you’ll see are antimicrobial and disinfectant, so it’s important to understand the difference between the two, since they serve different purposes.
Disinfectant: Chemicals that are applied to surfaces to kill or inactivate microbes. Depending on the chemical, they may be effective against specific bacteria, fungus and/or viruses. All disinfectants that make a kill claim, meaning they claim to kill viruses, need to be tested, approved and registered by the EPA. That’s why you can see for yourself if certain chemicals are able to kill COVID-19 here.
Antimicrobial: Antimicrobials, like disinfectants, are required to be registered with the EPA if they make any kill or viability claims. However, they either leave a coating on a surface or are integrated in the matrix of the surface material that keeps viral and bacterial microbes from growing and continuing to be viable.
Effectiveness of COVID-19 Disinfection
It is important that you have the ability to verify that your disinfection methods are actually working on affected areas. Efficacy validation demonstrates that you’re doing everything in your power to provide a healthy workplace that is free of known health and safety hazards.
Chances of a COVID-19 Resurgence Are High, So Start Preparing
Health experts across the globe are warning us that an uptick in COVID-19 cases should be anticipated in the winter or fall. According to Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, “Without a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, [flu and coronavirus cases] overlaid could be very problematic.” In all likelihood, there will be a resurgence, especially if businesses start to reopen during the pandemic, so safeguards, development of a vaccine, and effective therapeutic strategies are of critical importance.
Aftermath is Here to Help 24/7
If you think an employee or customer has visited your business and exhibited symptoms of coronavirus, Aftermath’s COVID-19 disinfection technicians are here to help. We’re available 24/7 and are just a few hours away from your initial call. We are able to fully remediate coronavirus from frequently touched surfaces in the workplace. Our business was built on keeping you safe from the unseeable — we understand that the health and safety of you, your family, and employees are on the line. Don’t take any chances; call in the professionals at 877-769-6917.
RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES
- Preparing Your Business and Employees
- Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease
- Reopening Your Business in Accordance with State and Federal Guidelines
- How to Ensure Your Employees Are Safe to Return to Work
- Your Employee Tested Positive for Covid-19. What Do You Do?