Here’s a message you can share:
At this time, neither the CDC nor our medical advisors at Zero Hour Health are recommending employee testing unless it is specifically being required by a local or state health department. Here’s why: The results don’t change our actions for returning to work or reducing exclusion days. We can’t return either a sick or an exposed employee sooner based on a test result. The tests have a very high false negative rate, take too long, and are often performed too soon to detect incubating virus. The rapid tests in particular have a very high false negative rate.
Added to that, testing all employees (or any employees) gives a false sense of security and at times, actually ends up discouraging cautious behaviors that protect us all, like wearing masks and social distancing.
There are a few states or jurisdictions that are requiring that all employees get tested when there is a confirmed case. We’ll manage those on a case by case basis. They can be challenging because many testing sites won’t test someone who isn’t symptomatic or hasn’t had a close contact.
If an employee is sick, exposed, or chooses to be tested out of curiosity, that’s their personal decision. But unfortunately, workplace testing isn’t yet ready for widespread use. We expect that testing will become a more valuable workplace tool soon – with more reliable tests that are widely available and have quick turnaround times.
Not if they have a note. They do have to be 24 hours fever-free without fever-reducing medication, which might be a few days after this surgery. When someone has a fever, if they have a doctor’s note stating a specific reason that isn’t likely to be COVID (e.g. surgery, root canal, etc.), we recommend allowing them to return with a note after 24-hours fever-free without fever-reducing medication like Tylenol, Advil, etc.
Not unless they have symptoms. If they have symptoms, they’ll be excluded based off those. If they were tested out of curiosity, for another job, etc. then we will not exclude. All that means is that they may have been infected with the coronavirus sometime in the past few months - we don’t know when. There’s no action required or recommended when someone tests positive for antibodies. It’s only a positive COVID test that requires action on your part.
The Economist has been on excellent voice of reason and source of good info through the pandemic. This viewpoint from Nicholas Christakis truly helps us get a better handle on what it will take to beat this.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane…