The world finds itself about eighteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic and the virus is unfortunately still here. However, the world also finds itself in a different situation than it did at this time last year since there are now vaccines to help protect people from COVID-19. The widespread lockdowns have continued to be lifted as mitigation efforts have relaxed. Many businesses have reopened, and mobility has increased significantly with more people traveling. But, with the rise of the Delta variant and the virus still circulating through the population, testing is again a vital tool in the fight against the virus.
The Delta variant is causing concern in the medical community as it is found to be significantly more transmissible than previous variants and there are more reports of “breakthrough” cases in fully-vaccinated people. While these vaccinated individuals will likely have significantly less severe to no symptoms at all, there is still a chance that they can pass the virus to others. These new developments have led the CDC to suggest that fully-vaccinated individuals be tested three to five days after a known COVID-19 exposure, something that they had previously said was unnecessary. Adding this to the existing criteria for testing will lead to an increase in demand.
The burden of COVID-19 testing currently falls on private firms including pharmacies, urgent cares and walk-in clinics, and some retailers. Testing capabilities have decreased due to a decrease in demand. However, with the new variant, people’s travel plans may require negative test results. Also, with the upcoming influx of college students returning to the state for the fall semester from areas whose vaccination rates may vary, the chance of a rise in infections seems likely. Testing capabilities that can match demand and provide quality results in a timely manner are needed if the world hopes to reel in the pandemic again.
OccuMed Occupational Healthworks offers a variety of testing options to meet any COVID-19 testing need. By offering a number of testing services, we hope to help prevent the spread of the virus in your school or university, workplace and ultimately your community. Currently, we offer a walk-in clinic (by appointment) at our Canton, MA location for both PCR screenings and drop-off testing. With our on-site testing option, OccuMed can fully coordinate on-site testing thereby alleviating your team of any operational burden. While we offer traditional screening methods for on-site testing, we also now offer pooled testing. This method is a cost-effective way to test a large group at once. All samples are tested together and if it comes back negative, it can be assumed that everyone who participated is negative. Conversely, if it comes back positive, everyone who participated must be tested individually. Schools have been utilizing pooled testing, and it is a convenient way to monitor potential spread of the virus in your organization.
If you have any questions or would like more information about our COVID-19 testing services, contact us today by email or by phone at 877-399-1698!