Information Regarding Drug Screening and COVID-19
Tags : Drug Testing
Per the current dynamics generated by this pandemic, employers should review and assess important information included in this article regarding applicant and employee drug screens.
In light of COVID-19, concerns regarding health and safety are continually rising as dynamics associated with this virus change. Factors that may constitute a perceived potential risk to applicant drug screens is an area of particular concern for employers. During this challenging and uncertain time, employers are strongly encouraged to follow guidelines as issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to minimize risk and exposure to your applicants and staff.
As it relates to drug screening, individuals are not subject to any increased exposure risk by attending a drug screening appointment than would be associated with performing other necessary, daily tasks such as food shopping or pumping gas. While a drug screening appointment inherently seems more risky, the points below explain why that is not the case.
- Patient Service Centers (PSC) do not perform COVID-19 testing; only drug screens and phlebotomy work occurs at these locations.
- Both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp are performing COVID-19 testing at their forensic and toxicology labs once it has been collected and sent by the PSC; the point of collection is not the same as the location where testing and analysis occur.
- PSC locations are engaging in hourly cleaning regimens to minimize the spread of the virus which includes sanitizing all surface areas, door handles, tables, bathrooms, waiting areas, desks and chairs. This diligent and systematic cleaning protocol has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Staff at each PSC has been sternly instructed to not report to work if they are not feeling well.
- PSC's are strongly encouraging individuals to schedule appointments so as to avoid walk-ins. This reduces wait time and ensures the test will be conducted as quickly as possible which supports the rules of social distancing.
- LabCorp has incorporated a system whereby the applicant or employee can schedule their appointment online and provide a mobile number to receive a text when the technician at the PSC is ready to administer their test. This allows donors the ability to wait outside or in a vehicle, away from other individuals.
We are following updates regarding CDC data and guidelines on a daily basis and relaying that information to our employees. It is our objective to minimize risk to our employees while also keeping our staff well-informed in order to best support and assist our clients.
Our team members are available to help clients navigate both the rapidly changing landscape of this pandemic and the business needs that arise as a result. Please do not hesitate to contact your account management team or our customer service department with any questions or concerns. The health and safety of our employees, our clients and their applicants is our primary concern. As such, Certiphi Screening is committed to working with the relevant governmental and healthcare authorities regarding COVID-19 to ensure that we are communicating key developments as they become available.
COVID-19 Commonly Asked Questions
How is COVID-19 spread according to the CDC?
Current information indicates that COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is thought to primarily spread from person-to-person, when individuals are in close contact with each other (within about six feet). If an infected person is close to another person, the non-infected person may be infected if the droplets land in his or her mouth or nose, or if he/she inhales them into the lungs. Transmission can also occur following a handshake with an infected person who has coughed into their hands and not washed them prior to contact with others. COVID-19 may also spread via 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 done at commonly visited PSC's or Occupational Health Clinics such as Quest Diagnostics, Lab Corp or Concentra. These types of facilities are not conducting testing for COVID-19 - they are used for conducting non-invasive testing such as urine drug screens.
Currently, where are tests for COVID-19 being performed?
COVID-19 testing is being performed at clinical labs which are not the same as PSC's. For instance, you may be directed to a Quest PSC to submit to a drug screen. This is different than the separate location, referred to as a "clinical" lab, where the drug screen sample is sent for testing. Although part of the same family, the PSC and clinical labs are not the same source.
Are there additional protocols I should be aware of when reporting for testing?
PSC's are closely following CDC and WHO guidelines. Many have instituted the following procedures to add an extra layer of confidence that measures are taken to keep you safe while completing testing:
- Wait where you are comfortable programs (i.e. your car/vehicle)
- Mobile check-in
- Increased sanitation
- Social distancing
- Flexible appointment options
- Early hours set for most vulnerable of society to complete testing
How do I find out more about the site I have selected for testing?
Our online registration tool allows you access to 18,000 plus testing facilities across the U.S. These facilities are open and available for performing non COVID-19 services such as your drug screen.
Posted: March 27, 2020
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This document and/or presentation is provided as a service to our customers. Its contents are designed solely for informational purposes, and should not be inferred or understood as legal advice or binding case law, nor shared with any third parties. Persons in need of legal assistance should seek the advice of competent legal counsel. Although care has been taken in preparation of these materials, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of the information contained within it. Anyone using this information does so at his or her own risk.
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