After hitting May’s milestone in the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the world – and our workplaces – feel a little closer to normal. More companies are welcoming staff back on site. Social distancing rules are steadily relaxing. And businesses across the hospitality, travel and leisure industries are back up and running.
So with confidence returning, is it still worth testing your team forCOVID-19? In a word, yes. Twice-weekly staff screening is an essential part of getting businesses back to full capacity. One in three people infected with corona virus show no symptoms, so an ongoing testing programme helps organisations isolate positive cases before they trigger widespread transmission – as well as costly productivity dips, downtime and reputational damage.
Despite the clear benefits of workforce testing, companies have been slow to engage.Some organisations stopped screening when no positive cases came to light.Others told the CBI they lacked the proper expertise and guidance, or found the process too complex.
The good news is that a new pain-free, saliva-based lateral flow test makes it simpler than ever to screen staff and stay on top of infection rates. To maintain momentum through the next phase of the pandemic, businesses must make a long-term commitment to proactive testing for three key reasons.
1. Community and company outbreaks are different
When tracking COVID-19 cases across communities, single-digit numbers show headway in terms of public health. Within your business, however, one positive result can have devastating repercussions. Company outbreaks risk the health of employees and their families and can jeopardise colleague trust and productivity.
The DVLA is currently fighting industrial action linked to COVID-19safety concerns among staff. More than 500 cases have been reported at the Swansea Vale centre since September 2020, taking a significant toll on workforce morale and confidence. Meanwhile, Public Health England data highlighted more than 500 workplace clusters in offices alone during the second half of 2020 – more than in supermarkets, construction sites, warehouses, restaurants and cafés combined.
Twice-weekly screening using a new generation of rapid antigen test can stop outbreaks and maintain business continuity by identifying infectious employees before they pass the virus on to others.
2. There are more COVID-19 waves to come
We’re learning more about the SARS-CoV-2virus all the time, but several further waves will affect the UK over the next18 months at least. A tactical, consistent approach to testing can keep your business resilient and ready to respond.
Regular screening provides a rolling snapshot of infection rates in your workplace, so you’re never taken by surprise. Instead of firefighting in the face of staff isolation or illness, you can prepare, plan and implement contingency programmes to keep operations moving forward.
As the pandemic progresses, staff are looking to employers for reassurance. By committing to regular testing, you’re taking meaningful measures to protect employee health and wellbeing and build a calmer, more focused working environment.
3. The vaccine is not a cure
The COVID-19 vaccine helps us fight the virus, but it doesn’t stop the spread of the disease. That means even vaccinated workers can infect colleagues and their loved ones back at home. When used alongside the vaccine and other coronavirus safety measures, routine testing provides an added layer of protection and proactively cuts transmission rates in your workplace.
With cutting-edge tools like the KnowNowTM lateral flow test, your team can see within 15 minutes if they’re infectious using only a quick saliva swab from the mouth. KnowNow’s brand-new technology detects only the live virus, so it’s effective against mutations and eliminates false positives that force staff to isolate, even when they’re no longer a risk to others.
Get a free KnowNowTM testing kit for your business
The KnowNowTM test is fast, pain-free and pinpoints positive cases up to two days earlier than current rapid antigen tests. Screening results are captured digitally via a bespoke app, creating a personal testing record for every employee. It’s an all-round better testing experience that’s easier to administer, manage and stick to.
To see how KnowNowTM can simplify routine screening in your business, request your free sample pack here.