You may have heard about how more and more people are undergoing what is called a rapid PCR coronavirus test, one that can be analyzed quickly at a doctor’s office or clinic, with results available in as little as a few minutes.
This could be something of a game changer for employers.
After all, if you could test your workers for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the disease COVID-19) as they arrive for work at your location(s) and get results in a few minutes or so, how safe do you feel your employees would be entering the building that day?
Pretty darn safe, we imagine!
First, a bit about what a rapid PCR COVID test is
There are three tests that deal with COVID-19, two of them are diagnostic (they tell you if you have a SARS-CoV-2 infection) and an antibody (or serology) test that that determines if you have the antibodies your immune system develops when the virus infects you. (This test usually is given to those who have recovered from COVID-19 to see if they have antibodies in their system.)
The two diagnostic tests are the antigen test and the PCR test. Both look for pieces of the proteins that make up the virus that causes COVID-19 to see if someone has an active infection.
Both the antigen and the PCR tests require that someone – usually a healthcare professional of some type – swab your mouth or nose to get some saliva or mucus.
Results for the antigen test can be received more quickly than those for a PCR test….
…but the results may not be as accurate. Antigen tests are less sensitive to detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus than are PCR tests, which means these tests could present more false negative tests (the test comes back as negative, even though the person tested does have the coronavirus in their system).
And this is dangerous because many people infected with the coronavirus never develop symptoms at all (as many as about 42 percent), or come down with a very mild case of COVID-19. Yet those infected with the virus can start spreading it to others in just a few days, and if they don’t know they are infected, they could unknowingly give it to others.
So someone could take the test before heading into work, come back with a negative that’s actually positive, and enter the building, not knowing that they’re a potential danger to their co-workers and even building visitors.
Results from rapid PCR COVID-19 tests may be slightly less rapid, but results are more accurate
And accuracy is key when it comes to workplace safety: employers need to ensure their workers feel – and are – as safe as possible if they work onsite. Morale, productivity – even employee retention – will suffer if they don’t.
NDS Wellness’ rapid PCR COVID test
We offer a molecular rapid PCR COVID test. It’s called molecular because it detects the virus’ genetic (molecular) materials (compared to antigen tests which detect specific proteins on the virus’ surface. (This is why the antigen test is less accurate because it’s looking for proteins on the surface of the virus rather than “inside” (molecular, genetic material).
Results can be had in a few as five (5) minutes (this usually is a positive test) and 13 minutes (for a negative test).
Learn more about our rapid PCR SARS-CoV-2 tests for your workplace.