Employers shying away from accepting self-administered COVID-19 tests


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As more and more employers require COVID tests for workers, some companies are not accepting self-administered tests, preferring employees get tests from an official source.

When it comes to a virus like COVID-19, employers want to protect the health and safety of employees. To do that, they must take appropriate measures to make the workplace “COVID secure” which includes vaccinations and COVID testing.

There have been long lines in the last week or two at places like Wake County’s testing facilities as more people rush to get tests.

As concerns about the Delta variant grow, we have also seen the re-imposition of indoor mask mandates as well as employers requiring either vaccines or weekly testing for employees.

Last week, Wake County announced all its employees must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 15 or get tested weekly.

Although the county told CBS 17 it “prefers that employees use Wake County testing facilities,” they can be tested at a non-county facility if need be.

As far as Wake County is concerned, taking a self-test is acceptable.

The Town of Hillsborough is mandating employees get vaccinated by Sept. 1 or tested weekly, however, it’s a bit concerned about self-administered tests.

Spokeswoman Catherine Wright said, “a final decision on the kind of acceptable test has not been made yet.”

She told CBS 17 the town’s human resources director “plans to research the accuracy of self-administered tests and to determine why they are not being accepted by other employers.”

When it comes to COVID-19 tests, employers like to see results quickly.

How quickly you see test results depends on the type of test.

Rapid Antigen or Molecular tests gives patients results before they leave the testing facility.

A PCR test uses a nose swab and produces results within 24 hours after lab analysis.

Currently, every COVID test is on the market under an Emergency Use Authorization. This allows makers to market tests without receiving formal FDA approval.

As Harvard School of Public Health says information about available tests is incomplete and testing options keep changing.

Right now, it says there is no “gold standard” and tests can vary in terms of accuracy, cost, recommended use for people of various ages.

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