Coronavirus testing is at an all-time high for the general public, but it is not proving to be the best option for reopening businesses. As companies try to navigate legal issues with bringing back employees, many are finding that testing for COVID-19 is simply more trouble than it is worth.
Testing all employees for coronavirus has simply proven too costly, complicated and unreliable for most companies with more than a handful of employees. "Testing is not affordable, accurate, readily available enough, or user-friendly for folks to do it on a regular basis," says Lauren Vela, senior director for the Pacific Business Group on Health, which advises companies on healthcare issues. "In an ideal world, testing is something that would have to be done every day for every employee, and you'd have results within 15 minutes, they would be accurate, and the test would not cost 100 bucks a pop."
In the meantime, most companies are taking a simpler and cheaper route to minimize the risk of coronavirus to employees and customers. "Social distancing and masks I would say are the two most commonly deployed strategies for getting folks back to work, and third would be taking temperatures," says Vela. "But testing will not be a return-to-work strategy until it is affordable, accessible, very accurate, very user-friendly, and has a very quick turnaround with the results."