COVID19

Test. Track. Take Control.

Are you ready with a clear return-to-work strategy to ensure employee safety?

The Road to a New Normal

There is no one-size fits all return-to-work strategy. When and how companies re-open will vary by industry and type of work, geography, and local epidemiology data. We believe that these factors, combined with an evidence-based approach for testing and monitoring, can help create a road map for safely getting your employees back to work.

Test. Track. Take Control. is all about getting a baseline of your workforce’s health through testing, symptom tracking, and proper communication, and adding to the appropriate distancing, and environmental changes you have in place, to mitigate your risk. Highlights of our strategy include:

  • Evidence-based strategy to help reduce COVID-19 transmission at worksites
  • Clinically-validated or FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) COVID-19 test options
  • Digital symptom tracker with exposure and test status monitoring
  • HIPAA-compliant platform capable of securely receiving data from testing labs
  • Support for workers navigating the testing process
  • Employer Communication Tool Kit

Why HealthWorks? We have been actively working with a number of national labs, suppliers, and large employers to build a meaningful strategy for returning to work and keeping businesses open. These efforts, in addition to our participation in a COVID-19, return-to-work beta test, together with the largest lab in the country and a US Government essential worksite with thousands of employees, led to the launch of ‘Test. Track. Take Control.’ which is based on testing efficacy, user-experience, and our 20+ years of screening experience.

TEST

Why Test?

  • Covid-19 testing by employers may be the most effective tool to gradually relax social distancing measures and getting the country back to work
  • COVID testing is not meant to be the be-all/end-all. The tests, combined with symptom tracking, face masks and social-distancing practices on the job, are intended to protect your organization with a real-time sense of the virus’s presence in your ranks
  • Although testing offers a snapshot in time, it can give employers and employees confidence in returning to work
  • Testing empowers your employees to know their status, so they can protect themselves and their families
  • Employees fully recovered from COVID-19 can donate their plasma to help treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections
  • Testing results can give you a road map for contact tracing within your workforce
  • The EEOC has announced employers can test employees for COVID-19 before allowing them into the workplace
Risk of a Workplace Outbreak

What are antibodies?

Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system in response to an infection and are specific to that particular infection. They are found in the liquid part of blood specimens which is called serum or plasma, depending on the presence of clotting factors. COVID antibody testing checks for immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM).

What is (IgM)?

  • Usually the first antibody produced by the immune system when a virus attacks
  • Positive result indicates you may have been infected and that your immune system has started responding to the virus
  • When detected, you may still be infected, or you may have recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection

What is (IgG)?

  • Develops in most patients within 7 to 10 days after symptoms of COVID-19 begin
  • These antibodies indicate that you may have had COVID-19 in the recent past and have developed antibodies that may protect you from future infection
  • It is unknown at this point how much protection antibodies might provide against another infection of COVID-19
  • IgG antibodies remain in the blood after an infection has passed

Understanding Results:

IgM Positive (with or without IgG) =

  • Suggests that the infection happened within the last few weeks
  • Suggests that you could still be infectious to others
  • A follow-up COVID test may confirm if you are infectious

IgG Positive (without IgM) =

  • Suggests that the infection happened weeks to months in the past
  • Suggests that you may no longer be infectious
  • Indicates that you may have some immunity to the virus, though you may not
  • How much it might protect you from getting sick with COVID-19 in the future is unknown

Negative Antibody Result =

  • Antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 were not found in your sample
  • However, it is possible for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative) in some people
Antibodies Chart

COVID ANTIBODY TESTING

Although antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose COVID-19, it can provide information about whether a person may have been exposed. Experience with other viruses suggests that individuals whose blood contains antibodies associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection – provided they are recovered and not currently infected with the virus – may be able to resume work and other daily activities in society and serve as potential donors of convalescent plasma. HealthWorks Offers:

Serology Testing for SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies (Blood Draw)

  • FDA approved under EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) guidelines
  • Detects IgG antibodies
  • Venous blood draw
  • To determine if a patient has been infected with COVID19 in the past and has developed immunity
  • Results in 1-3 days

Serology Testing for SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies (Finger Stick)

  • FDA approved under EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) guidelines
  • Detects IgG & IgM antibodies
  • Finger Stick
    • To determine if a patient might be a carrier of COVID19
    • To determine if a patient has been infected with COVID19 in the past and has developed immunity
  • Results in 1-3 days

Serology Testing for SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies Testing: (Blood Draw)

  • FDA approved under EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) guidelines
  • Detects both IgG and IgM antibodies
  • Venous blood draw
    • To determine if a patient might be a carrier of COVID19
    • To determine if a patient has been infected with COVID19 in the past and has developed immunity

COVID VIRUS TESTING

COVID-19 Virus Testing: Self-administered nasal swab test

  • COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Nasal Swab (anterior nares)
  • Results in 1 – 2 days
  • Performed by patient in the presence of a HealthWorks screener

Now is not the time to abandon your wellness efforts and, specifically, your biometric screenings. What we do know about COVID-19 is that people with comorbidities are at much higher risk of having serious complications (or die) from COVID-19

  • 25% of people hospitalized with severe COVID-19 infections had diabetes
  • The risk of death in COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease is 10.5% and for chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, it’s 6%-7%
  • It’s more important than ever that your employees ”know their numbers” and start/continue to take steps to improve them
  • Adding COVID testing to your biometric screenings ensures you maintain the momentum of your previous wellness efforts while addressing the COVID pandemic

We recommend you add our COVID testing options to your existing biometric screenings.

  • Finger Stick Biometric Screenings (lipid profile; BMI; blood pressure; A1-C option)
  • Blood Draw Biometric Screenings (lipid profile; BMI; blood pressure; A1-C, plus added test options)
  • Ask about bundled pricing
The Benefits of Adding COVID Testing to Your Biometric Screening
  • The cadence of testing should be determined by the disease trajectory in your region, the risk exposures of the population, as well as the make-up of your workforce
  • Organizations should test enough to catch problems early, but not so often that the logistics outweigh the benefits
  • Consider the size/type of your worker population
  • HealthWorks can help you decide which tests & what timing makes the most sense
  • We recommend companies check the latest guidelines and directives from the EEOC, CDC, ADA, FDA, and local authorities regarding mandatory testing

While we have always used best practices and precautions at our biometric screening events, as the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, we have taken additional actions to ensure our entire organization is here to serve you in the safest way possible. These include the following new screening protocols:

  • HealthWorks abides by the State of Ohio and CDC recommendations for social distancing and sanitation procedures
  • During all COVID testing and/or wellness screening events, all screeners and registration staff use masks, gloves, and other PPE, and disinfect screening equipment and screening areas
  • Participants may not arrive earlier than five minutes before their screening
  • Social distancing of screening participants at least six feet from each other is strictly enforced
  • Disposable wipes and hand sanitizer are available at all events

Updated screening protocol will include help from the client to assure a safe environment. Prior to the screening, clients are responsible for:

  • Taking necessary measures to assure that all participants are asymptomatic for COVID-19
  • Providing visible 6’ spacing measures (with tape or signage)
  • Instructing screening participants to bring their own pens to registration
  • Encouraging screening participants to wear their masks to the screening

TRACK

Our COVID-19 Symptom Tracker is a digital solution designed to help employers routinely check for symptoms before employees can come to work. The Symptom Tracker houses a quick questions that monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, using current guidelines from the CDC. Once the questions are completed, an employee will either receive a green “Go”; yellow “Caution”; or red “Stop” checkmark indicating whether they can go to work or be directed to seek further medical advice should their results require it. 

Key Features & Benefits

  • Employees input daily symptoms/self-reported temperatures (via mobile phone or computer)
  • Employees receive real-time clearance for work or referral for evaluation
  • Opportunity to perform contact tracing within the workforce
  • Employer dashboard provides:
    • A convenient way for HR/Management to track symptoms on daily basis
    • Real-time view of employee population symptom status
    • Who has been cleared to work
    • Who needs symptom follow-up
  • Real-time view of employee population symptom status

TAKE CONTROL

Your employees may be feeling uncertain about their health and returning to work. Now is the time to have a clear internal communications plan in place – especially when rolling out COVID-19 testing. With our communication tool kit, you can help alleviate fears and build their trust in you as a dependable leader.

Our tool kit includes information about COVID-19 along with customizable marketing and internal communications templates to make it easy for you craft messages to send to your employees, including:

  • Employer COVID testing information/materials:
    • How to prepare your worksite for COVID testing
    • HR planning suggestions for dealing with test results
    • Scheduling options
  • Employer Communication Plan:
    • How to communicate testing to employees
    • Letter from CEO
    • COVID-19 FAQS
    • Marketing flyers

You’re testing and tracking – now what? The virus is not static, and employers can’t be either. HealthWorks will help you evaluate your testing results and symptom tracking to watch spikes/potential COVID outbreaks and create an intervention plan that could include:

  • Individual testing plans
  • Re-testing of employee population

The COVID threat will be with us for some time to come. HealthWorks has the ability to evolve with the ever-changing landscape of risk reduction opportunities, including approved testing options and COVID immunization, when it becomes available.

Now What

The information provided in this packet is based on medical reporting, scientific publications, and advice from public health authorities and other regulatory agencies which has been collated, reviewed, and summarized. It is not a substitute for medical or legal advice about your employees, workplace, or obligations. COVID-19 is a new disease. Many questions remain and understanding of the virus, its transmission when infected individuals are contagious, and whether infection confers lasting immunity is continually evolving. The information provided here is based on a growing body of scientific knowledge and will be updated as more information becomes available. COVID-19 updates are available on CDC’s web page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.

COVID-19 HR/Employer Information & Resources

While previous guidance had given employers the ability to provide the name of an infected employee in order to warn individuals who may be at risk of exposure, that guidance has changed, and employers are now advised to not disclose the name of an infected employee to anyone other than those individuals conducting the investigation (who will need that information to determine who may have been exposed).

However, employers may disclose general information, such as, what floor, office, or team the employee worked on, or where in the workplace the infected employee was present and/or frequented most recently, in order to allow the employer to alert employees who may have come in contact with the infected employee in the workplace.  Employees may assume the identity of the infected employee, but as long as the employer does not disclose the name of the individual, it cannot be held liable if others in the work place make such assumptions.

If an employer learns about an employee testing positive first, the employer should contact the local or state health department (the employer can provide the infected employee’s name) and cooperate with the health department in their tracing efforts.  If an employer first learns from a public health official that a particular employee has tested positive, the employer should cooperate with the health official’s contract tracing by providing schedules, contact information, etc.

Below are some general recommended steps for employers. For the most up-to-date answers to General Business Frequently Asked Questions, visit the CDC’s website.

  1. Remove the employee from the workplace and notify the employee’s manager or supervisor that the employee is on leave for non-disciplinary reasons.
  2. Contact the state and/or local public health authorities for guidance – employers made provide the employee’s name to the public health authority  (It is the responsibility of each employee’s health care provider to report any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the CDC)
  3. If the employer believes the employee likely contracted COVID-19 in the workplace, contact the employer’s insurance carrier and comply with all OSHA reporting requirements (more on this below)
  4. If possible, interview the employee to determine with whom the employee had close contact, areas of the workplace the employee frequented, etc., in the previous 14 days.
  5. Notify the infected employee’s co-workers who may have come into contact with the employee in the workplace within the past 14 days (but without specifically identifying the employee by name) that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and may wish to contact their health care provider for guidance.
  6. Send home any employee who had close contact with the employee in the prior 14 days, for a 14-day quarantine.
  7. Notify any clients, customers, or vendors who may have come into contact with the infected employee within the past 14 days that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 (but do so without identifying the infected employee by name).
  8. Have the employee’s workspace, surrounding area, and all common areas likely visited by the employee (restroom, elevator, breakroom, etc.) and all touch points (phones, copiers, door handles, microwave, refrigerator door, etc.)  thoroughly (or better yet, professionally) cleaned.

For the most up-to-date answers to questions about COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws, visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website.

A.1. How much information may an employer request from an employee who calls in sick, in order to protect the rest of its workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic? (3/17/20)

During a pandemic, ADA-covered employers may ask such employees if they are experiencing symptoms of the pandemic virus. For COVID-19, these include symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat. Employers must maintain all information about employee illness as a confidential medical record in compliance with the ADA.

A.2. When screening employees entering the workplace during this time, may an employer only ask employees about the COVID-19 symptoms EEOC has identified as examples, or may it ask about any symptoms identified by public health authorities as associated with COVID-19? (4/9/20)

As public health authorities and doctors learn more about COVID-19, they may expand the list of associated symptoms. Employers should rely on the CDC, other public health authorities, and reputable medical sources for guidance on emerging symptoms associated with the disease. These sources may guide employers when choosing questions to ask employees to determine whether they would pose a direct threat to health in the workplace. For example, additional symptoms beyond fever or cough may include new loss of smell or taste as well as gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

When may an ADA-covered employer take the body temperature of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic? (3/17/20)

Generally, measuring an employee’s body temperature is a medical examination. Because the CDC and state/local health authorities have acknowledged community spread of COVID-19 and issued attendant precautions, employers may measure employees’ body temperature. However, employers should be aware that some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever.

Does the ADA allow employers to require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of the COVID-19? (3/17/20)

Yes. The CDC states that employees who become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 should leave the workplace. The ADA does not interfere with employers following this advice.

When employees return to work, does the ADA allow employers to require a doctor’s note certifying fitness for duty? (3/17/20)

Yes. Such inquiries are permitted under the ADA either because they would not be disability-related or, if the pandemic were truly severe, they would be justified under the ADA standards for disability-related inquiries of employees. As a practical matter, however, doctors and other health care professionals may be too busy during and immediately after a pandemic outbreak to provide fitness-for-duty documentation. Therefore, new approaches may be necessary, such as reliance on local clinics to provide a form, a stamp, or an e-mail to certify that an individual does not have the pandemic virus.

May an employer administer a COVID-19 test (a test to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus) before permitting employees to enter the workplace? (4/23/20)

The ADA requires that any mandatory medical test of employees be “job related and consistent with business necessity.” Applying this standard to the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers may take steps to determine if employees entering the workplace have COVID-19 because an individual with the virus will pose a direct threat to the health of others. Therefore an employer may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus.

Consistent with the ADA standard, employers should ensure that the tests are accurate and reliable. For example, employers may review guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about what may or may not be considered safe and accurate testing, as well as guidance from CDC or other public health authorities, and check for updates. Employers may wish to consider the incidence of false-positives or false-negatives associated with a particular test. Finally, note that accurate testing only reveals if the virus is currently present; a negative test does not mean the employee will not acquire the virus later.
Based on guidance from medical and public health authorities, employers should still require – to the greatest extent possible – that employees observe infection control practices (such as social distancing, regular handwashing, and other measures) in the workplace to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

May an employer store in existing medical files information it obtains related to COVID-19, including the results of taking an employee’s temperature or the employee’s self-identification as having this disease, or must the employer create a new medical file system solely for this information? (4/9/20)
The ADA requires that all medical information about a particular employee be stored separately from the employee’s personnel file, thus limiting access to this confidential information. An employer may store all medical information related to COVID-19 in existing medical files. This includes an employee’s statement that he has the disease or suspects he has the disease, or the employer’s notes or other documentation from questioning an employee about symptoms.

If an employer requires all employees to have a daily temperature check before entering the workplace, may the employer maintain a log of the results? (4/9/20)
Yes. The employer needs to maintain the confidentiality of this information.

May an employer disclose the name of an employee to a public health agency when it learns that the employee has COVID-19? (4/9/20)
Yes

HealthWorks follows guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other recognized public health authorities to determine what may or may not be considered safe and accurate testing. HealthWorks only offers clinically-validated or FDA EUA test options through certified lab partners. HealthWorks provides no representations or warranties as to the accuracy of any test methods, test results, or reports produced by any laboratory, beyond any such information provided by the laboratories with which we partner.