Governments and businesses are keen to reopen economies, while primarily protecting the health and safety of their citizens, employees, and customers. Many have alluded to some form of regular testing in order to re-open. So, can testing employees for Coronavirus become a new normal?
How are Companies Responding to Businesses Reopening? Intellizence Insight.
At Intellizence, we monitor sales and risk signals in thousands of companies across sectors and the globe.
- Based on our economy reopening status tracker, most major economies are currently operating under comprehensive restrictions.
- Recently, there has been a surge in COVID-19 cases amongst the employees of many essential businesses (e.g. health care workers, public transit, grocery, meat processing, e-commerce). Some of the recent major outbreaks include over 500 employees tested positive in the Cargill plant in Alberta.
This can result in a significant impact on employees, potential customers, the food supply chain, increased costs due to deep sanitation and further delay reopening of the economy.
Amazon is making a bold decision to regularly test all of its employees including those showing no symptoms. Widespread and regular testing of employees could make a positive difference to employees as well as enhance consumer confidence.
Are Cost-effective Rapid Testing Kits Available for COVID-19 Testing?
There is no immediate visibility on the availability of vaccines for Coronavirus. Currently, governments are still struggling to do widespread testing. This is mainly due to the non-availability of cost-effective rapid test kits.
As per Intellizence COVID-19 Diagnostics & Treatment Dataset analysis:
As on April 27, 2020,
- 49 diagnostic tests have received FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and 15 received authorization from Health Canada
- 21 laboratories have received authorization from FDA for Molecular-based Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs)
The big question is how soon testing kits will be available for businesses to test their employees regularly?
What are the Challenges Employers Face?
- New regulations are being enacted for employee safety and this increases additional compliance requirements. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Companies must provide appropriate leave and support to employees testing positive for coronavirus
- Protecting the privacy of the employees that test positive, providing insurance coverage and disclosure requirements to the public health agencies will also need to be addressed
Intellizence offers an AI-powered business signal intelligence platform focused on COVID-19 intelligence to help companies to survive, sustain, and stay ahead. More details about Intellizence COVID-19 Intelligence.