06 May Don’t risk your workers’ health with online COVID-19 blood tests
The ongoing testing for COVID-19 is crucial to help contain the spread of the virus and to treat people have been infected.
In Australia alone, there have been over 600,000 tests conducted which have been gradually increased to about 23,000 a day as of early May.
There are two different kinds of test and only one of them is regarded as truly effective.
That is the nasal swap which detects the presence of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in an individual’s genetic material.
The second type of test is a quick blood test, much like the testing process diabetics conduct on themselves daily to determine their insulin levels.
But these tests do not actually detect COVID-19, instead of determining if a person has developed antibodies in response to the virus.
This makes this test less reliable than the nasal swap, but it hasn’t stopped third-party companies from selling them en masses through online channels.
US cracks down on COVID-19 blood tests
In response to the growing numbers of antibody, blood tests becoming available the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tightened the rules on using them.
These rules were loosened in March because of the slow rollout of swab testing in the US, allowing for the sale of blood tests without approval.
Now, manufacturers do have to submit their tests for analysis but the damage has already been done.
There are flawed tests already flooding the US and international market that could be extremely harmful if people – especially essential workers – are operating under the assumption they do not have COVID-19 when they could indeed have the virus.
The blood tests were never intended for testing
These clickable blood tests were created to be a tool for researchers. They were invented for the purpose of determining if people had COVID-19 in the past, not if they currently have the virus.
They were intended as a tool to monitor the spread of the virus throughout countries and also to determine if people had developed natural immunity after recovering from COVID-19.
So in those senses, they have practical uses. But no employer should view these tests as reliable and should absolutely resist the urge to purchase them online.
They are unreliable, could be untested and have the potential to allow COVID-19 to creep through your defences and infect your workforce.
The COVID-19 Response App allows you to isolate workers potentially infected
It automates the check-in process, allowing you to send surveys to workers before they enter a job site and also to clients before a worker enters their premises.
This simple health check sends automated alerts and workers can be isolated from job sites and properly tested (with a swab test) before they can return to work.
It also protects workers from potential infection in the line of their duties where they could be exposed to the virus.
This app is available for free to all small businesses (up to 50 licences) and not-for-profit organisations and is also available at extremely discounted rates for large corporations.