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What COVID-19 self-test kit means for employers and employees

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On November 17, 2020, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Permit (EUA) for the first COVID-19 self-test package that can provide fast results at home with 94% -98% accuracy.

Although the Lucira disposable test is currently only available at Sutter Health in Northern California and the Cleveland Clinic in Southern Florida, it is expected to be available nationwide in early 2021. The test package – which is estimated to cost about $ 50 – will require a prescriptions and all results must be reported to the health authorities. Individuals over the age of 14 who show symptoms of COVID-19 will be able to administer the test themselves and get results at home within 30 minutes. The test is also approved for use in medical clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms and emergency rooms for patients of all ages.

Will this test be the answer to ensuring the safety of employees returning to work?

There is no doubt that this EUA-approved test is an important step forward in tackling the ongoing pandemic and can be a useful tool for bringing life back to more normalcy. But as with all tests, it should not be seen as the only gatekeeper to determine if employees can come to work. This recently approved rapid test, like all COVID-19 tests, gives results at a single time. To ensure ongoing negative results, the test would require regular, if not daily, repetition. As a single-use test kit, the cost alone can be daunting for employers.

Absence of a dramatic change in the availability and cost of rapid tests. The answers to ensure that employees are safe at work are the same as they have been for months: Wear a Mask – Wash Your Hands – Maintain Social Distancing.

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