While the country is in lockdown some vital sectors can’t adopt work from home policy.
The real problem is that approximately out of 3 infected people 1 is asymptomatic, which means that even if they do not suffer from the symptoms of the disease, they could spread the virus without being aware of it.
To find the infected and stop the chain of transmission the new government has arranged funding to boost rapid covid tests at work.
“To save lives and protect the NHS, we have again asked for everyone to work from home. But we know that for some this is not possible, which is why the workplace rapid testing programme is so important. says Health Secretary, Matt Hancock.
Many organisations, including transport networks and food manufacturers, are working closely with government health authorities to sign up to a rapid testing programme that identifies cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), while the Business Department has been working with a wide range of businesses across the country, including those in the energy, manufacturing, life sciences and retail sectors to send mass testing kits for their staff.
While earlier access to rapid tests was reserved only for companies with more than 250 employees, the admission criterion to the program has now been extended to companies with more than 50 employees, which will therefore be added to the 112 thousand companies that have already taken advantage of the rapid regular workforce testing.
With more than 2.5 million tests already distributed to the public and private sectors, tracking the effects is essential to be able to break the chain of contagion.
“Employers should regularly test their staff, and this drive across government to raise awareness and encourage more businesses to introduce rapid testing for employees is incredibly important.” says again Matt Hancock. “When you consider that around one in three people have the virus without symptoms and could potentially infect people without even knowing it, it becomes clear why focusing testing on those without symptoms is so essential”
The NHS Test & Trace is working hard to support organisations to deliver scalable programmes of asymptomatic testing, through provision of a digital solution that enables scheduling of testing, management of results and communication between key stakeholders. Tests are automatically ordered from a secure storage site and delivered by courier to the participating organisation.
A good example is set by the Department for Transport, working with organisations and companies across the transport network on rapid testing to maximise safety.
Transport for London (TfL) has already opened 4 asymptomatic test sites, offering testing to frontline operational employees in London Underground and surface transport.The results were impressive, by 29th January out of 2173 tests, 28 asymptomatics were identified and sent home for quarantine.
In the same week The Metropolitan Police has been distributing tests across 7 sites, with more than 60 000 tests being given to fire and rescue services.
The goal of these testing centers is to combat disease before it takes hold, and ultimately save lives.
“Businesses across the country have been working extremely hard to keep their workforces safe during the pandemic, with retail, manufacturing and energy companies among those already taking up the offer of workplace testing” says Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
“I urge even more employers to do the same to help stop the spread of the virus and protect our NHS. We want to be able to reopen the economy and recover our way of life as soon as it is safe to do so, and large-scale workplace testing will complement our work in getting the British people vaccinated.”
While the government offers help, if you’re looking for healthcare staff or nurses to install your own rapid test station in your workplace we can help you with recruiting.