You’re managing through the pandemic and you may have experienced your share of losses, layoffs and closures. Now the US coronavirus-positive case count is rising again, and you can’t contract any more. You need a plan that helps stabilize operations.
Test to achieve business continuity
Testing is the only way to identify and remove large-scale risk of infection in the absence of symptoms. By identifying people who have been exposed to COVID-19 you can isolate them from other employees and keep the infection from spreading throughout your business. Unfortunately, testing at scale is not easy. There are a host of challenges to overcome including:
- Sample collection, handling, and storage
- Data management
- Contact tracing
- and more
To plan for business continuity means you need a testing action plan.
COVID-19 business continuity testing action plan
1. Learn about testing options
- There are several coronavirus testing options and platforms on the market right now, many of which use real-time or quantitative PCR (qPCR). qPCR is the gold standard in coronavirus testing, trusted to deliver results quickly. Third-party labs use qPCR to test one sample at a time. For small- and mid-sized companies, outsourcing your testing needs may be the best approach. Building an in-house testing facility is an expensive undertaking that can yield an overall cost savings for very large companies, but outsourced testing makes more sense for smaller businesses that do not have the resources or space for private testing labs.
- Pooling multiple samples into a single reaction helps reduce testing costs without sacrificing speed or quality. This technique is designed for large populations of presumed-negative people, such as students on a college campus. By combining multiple samples in a single test—the optimal number varies based on your presumed infection rate—labs can more quickly process large numbers of samples using qPCR technology. Pooled samples that yield positive readings can then be processed separately to identify the specific pool member or members who are actually positive, instead of processing every sample on its own from the start. This may dramatically reduce the overall number of readings needed, depending on the infection rate, potentially yielding the same results in less time for less cost.
- High-volume testing may be a good option for large companies looking for secured supply of tests and consumables and 24/7 access to service and support. This method uses a qPCR test in a semi-automated system to accelerate processing to up to 8,000 per day.
2. Put your people first
It is important to understand the impact of testing on the business, and on your people. The Amplitude Solution from Thermo Fisher Scientific offers secured supply to make sure tests are available. In addition, an in-house testing system makes it easier to ensure everyone is getting a test.
Employees and associates need to know that management cares about their health and safety. A robust testing regimen and the tools to make use of test results can help protect your employees’ peace of mind, and it can also protect your business. Catching an outbreak before it happens prevents more infections than it detects, keeping an outbreak from shutting down a facility or breaking a supply chain. This both saves lives and protects business continuity, enabling operations to continue through this difficult time. It is hard to overstate the value of demonstrating that the health of the team is your top priority.
3. Assemble the right expertise, at the right scale
Getting it right requires having the right people at the table at the outset: finance, operations, HR, legal, EHS. And, you’ll need a qualified clinical supplier. Thermo Fisher is among the world leaders for COVID-19 testing. Only Thermo Fisher has products that are used in 50% of the world’s COVID-19 testing to date.
For more information on workplace testing, check out the Safety and well-being in the workplace webinar series.
The content provided herein may relate to products or workflows that have not been officially CE Marked, authorized by the US FDA or global health agencies, and is subject to change without notice; Refer to current user manual for indications, warning and precautions. All validation data to support the Thermo Fisher Scientific Amplitude Solution has been completed and is currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration. Use of Thermo Fisher Scientific Amplitude Solution is permitted per FDA Policy for Coronavirus Disease-2019 Test during the Public Health Emergency (Revised) released on May 11, 2020.