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In light of COVID-19 testing, concerns regarding health and safety are continually increasing as dynamics associated with this virus change. Factors that might constitute a perceived potential risk to applicant drug screens are a point of concern for companies. In this uncertain and challenging period, employers are strongly encouraged to follow guidelines as issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to minimize risk and vulnerability to your applicants and personnel.

As it pertains to drug screening, individuals are not subject to any exposure risk by visiting a drug testing appointment than could be linked with performing other important daily tasks such as pumping gas or food shopping.

Many employees fear the drug screening appointment or are very nervous about having to do it during the coronavirus time period, the points below describe why that isn’t the case.

  • Patient Service Centers (PSC) don’t perform COVID-19 testing; just drug screens and phlebotomy work happens at these locations.
  • Both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp are doing COVID-19 testing in their forensic and toxicology labs. Once it has been collected and sent by the PSC, the point of the collection isn’t the same as the place where testing and analysis happen.
  • PSC places are participating in hourly cleaning regimens to decrease the spread of this virus, including sanitizing all surface areas, tables, bathrooms, door handles, desks, waiting areas, and chairs. The Environmental Protection Agency approved this systematic and diligent cleaning protocol.
  • Staff at every PSC has been sternly instructed not to report to work if they’re not feeling well.
  • PSC’s are actively encouraging people to schedule appointments to avoid walk-ins. This ensures that the test will be conducted as quickly as possible that affirms the distancing principles and reduces wait time.
  • LabCorp has incorporated a system where the applicant or employee can schedule their appointment online and provide a mobile number to get a text once the technician in the PSC is prepared to administer their test. This allows donors the ability to wait out or in a vehicle, away from other individuals.

Most of the companies are following updates regarding CDC guidelines and information regularly and relaying that information to their employees. It’s the objective to minimize risk to our staff while maintaining employees instructed to support and help our customers.

Companies are making their staff members available to help customers both the fast-changing aspect of this pandemic and the company needs that arise as a result. Please don’t hesitate to contact your account management team or customer service department with any questions or concerns. The health and safety of customers, employees, and their applicants is the primary concern. Therefore, companies are dedicated to working together with health care authorities and the government regarding COVID-19 to ensure that they’re communicating critical developments as they become available.

COVID-19 Commonly Asked Questions

How is COVID-19 spread, according to the CDC?

Present information indicates that COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets produced when an infected individual sneezes or coughs. It’s believed to primarily spread from person-to-person when folks are in close contact with each other (within about six feet). If an infected person is near another individual, the person might be infected if he/she inhales them or the droplet land in her or his nose or mouth. Transmission can also occur after a handshake with an infected person that has coughed in their hands and didn’t wash them before hand-shaking. COVID-19 may also spread through infected surfaces, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Where are COVID-19 test samples collected?

COVID-19 testing is not performed at regularly visited PSC’s or Occupational Health Clinics such as Concentra, Lab Corp, or Quest Diagnostics. These kinds of facilities aren’t currently conducting testing for COVID-19 – they are used for conducting non-invasive testing like urine drug screens.

Presently, where are evaluations for COVID-19 being done?

COVID-19 testing has been performed at clinical labs that aren’t the same as PSC’s. For example, you may be directed to a Quest PSC to submit to a drug screen. This is different than the separate location, known as a “clinical” laboratory, where the drug screen sample is sent for testing. Although both are part of the same family, the clinical and PSC labs aren’t the same source.

Are there any additional protocols that I should be aware of if reporting for testing?

WHO and CDC guidelines are being closely followed by PSC’s. Many have to assess the following procedures to add a layer of confidence that steps are taken to keep you safe while finishing testing:

  • Wait where you’re comfortable programs (i.e., your car/vehicle)
  • Mobile check-in
  • Increased sanitation
  • Social distancing
  • Flexible appointment choices
  • Early hours set for many vulnerable of society to complete testing

Intelligent Fingerprinting Repurposes Drug Screening Cartridge To Test For Covid-19

Intelligent Fingerprinting has become popular in the universe of illegal drugs, with a test that could be used to screen for substances such as MDMA and cocaine in the eccrine sweat of the fingertips. The business is considering transforming this test to analyze for COVID-19. Verdict Medical Devices communicates with the executive chairman of Intelligent Fingerprinting Philip Hand to find out more.

Regular tests for illicit drugs have historically utilized oral swabs or urine samples to test for substances like MDMA or cocaine from rehabilitation settings to the criminal justice system. Although both these techniques have their caveats, UK based company Intelligent Fingerprinting has formed an alternate route, with the eccrine sweat found on the fingertips. In Covid-19’s era, the evaluation is currently finding a new application screening for the deadly coronavirus.

Intelligent Fingerprinting uses flow assay technology with fluorescence-labeled antibodies to detect specific drugs and their metabolites. All it takes is a fingerprint. The test subject pushes down on a drug testing cartridge before a tamper-evident cover slides across and locks their fingerprint. The sample is put into the DSR-Plus, a system designed to examine eccrine sweat, and it can display an on-screen outcome in ten minutes.

“We introduced that system to market commercially in 2018,” states Intelligent Fingerprinting executive chairman Philip Hand. “We sell that product to office testing clients — especially in safety-critical markets such as transportation and construction — and the medical market, where people are taking a look at drug rehab, to check whether someone’s taken an opiate or if they have taken their methadone. We also sell to the criminal justice aspect of things, so police and probation services are wanting to use the product.”

Intelligent Fingerprinting during Covid-19

The Covid-19 crisis has now opened up a new route for Intelligent Fingerprinting. Instead of opiates and amphetamines, the business is looking into repurposing its technologies to test for the coronavirus.

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