The landscape for SARS-CoV-2 screening tests (COVID 19 testing) continues to evolve. When it comes to a serology test, shortcomings in the quality of testing, poor sensitivity, false negative rates, as well as variations in the interpretation of results can significantly impact decisions for employers wanting to screen their employees. Without a doubt, limitations exist in the current tools available for us to determine individual immunity, and the risk of COVID19 contraction and/or transmission within a community.
The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) recently provided guidance as to the potential utility, as well as drawbacks of currently available Coronavirus (COVID-19) screening tests on the market. IDSA COVID-19 Antibody Testing Primer document, dated May 4 2020, is provided below for reference. Because of the current limitations of available tests, it is strongly recommended that employers not rely on one single variable (such as a temperature reading) or a single serology test within their employee population when making staffing decisions. Instead, we believe that employers should look at multiple factors and quantitative indicators within their employee population, such as presence and/or absence of specific symptoms, exposure risk (direct and indirect), vital sign measurements, nasal RT PCR, and serum antibody screening tests for COVID-19.
Employer’s decisions regarding staffing should be based on the results of analysis of data from multiple factors and indicators. This data driven approach will provide businesses with a more informed understanding of the overall risk of their employee population with regards to Coronavirus, and allow them to be better prepared to implement preventative strategies to reduce transmission and contraction risk within their workforce, and workplaces.
Access the IDSA Primer Document here:idsa-covid-19-antibody-testing-primer