Up until now, COVID-19 testing has involved taking a nasal-pharyngeal sample from a person and sending it to a laboratory to be analysed using PCR technology. Direct Health Solutions says businesses are now turning to rapid antigen testing as a primary COVID-19 surveillance tool and as a key safety approach to encourage employees to return to the workplace.
“In the past three weeks alone, we have deployed a team of 200 nurses and onsite testers across NSW, Victoria, and Queensland, and administered over 80,000 tests on client sites,” Direct Health Solutions (DHS) CEO and founder Paul Dundon says.
The DHS team provides the Sars-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Nasal test, supplied by Roche Diagnostics, and to ramp up testing, they administer an onsite testing using an app, Navify Pass, to track results and administer results.
Navify Pass allows for multiple tests and a range of data to be managed, creating a workflow for the business. It also gives the test recipient their results on their own phone for personal record, or to use to access work sites as necessary. DHS also manages each site’s full test records for any customer or public health reporting requirements.
The DHS health testing team also use Navify Pass to:
1. Log into the site profile by scanning a site-specific QR code
2. Scan a test recipient QR from their mobile
3. Take the sample and scan a QR on the test device
4. Enter the result in the Navify Professional app
5. Send the result straight to the test recipient’s mobile phone, and to a back-end file so DHS can manage each site.
“Given the highly contagious COVID Delta strain currently in circulation, the faster the infected individual is isolated, the more chance we have to reduce transmission. This is why rapid antigen tests are a great option where speed is key. DHS sees this as critical to future-proof the Australian businesses, protecting workforces and reducing the chance of further lockdowns,” Dundon explains.
Dundon emphasises businesses should not consider rapid antigen home testing, set to be available from November, as a replacement for businesses doing their part to protect their staff.
“RAT is going to become even more important for businesses because with restrictions easing there’s going to be an increase in COVID in the community. This is where the power of RAT comes into its own. You need to identify the asymptomatic cases while they’re infectious so you prevent them getting onto the worksite,” Dundon says.
“RAT is here to stay. Even if government restrictions ease, businesses have a duty of care to ensure the safety and well-being of their teams. The UK is an excellent example of how rapid antigen testing on worksites has become an essential part of day-to-day business operations, and it’s making a significant difference in helping balance public health measures with keeping the economy going,” Dundon adds.
“We have delivered approximately 30 million COVID-19 tests in the public health response. While normal life returns for residents of NSW - one third of Australia’s population, we need to continue to be vigilant, as we see high case numbers in Victoria. Scientific innovation such as RAT is an addition to the testing arsenal to help enable effective management of this pandemic, and will continue to play a leading role,” concludes Roche Diagnostics Australia managing director Allison Rossiter.