All across the country, Kiwi businesses are turning to Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to stay up and running in the midst of an outbreak. Screening your staff for COVID-19 with RATs can give you a head start on the virus and help you in stunting the spread, but there’s a bit of a knack to administering these tests.
You might be wondering where to start when it comes to giving out RATs, or maybe you’re just looking to double check a couple RAT-based details: either way, our ‘How to Guide for RATs & Your Business’ has all the info you need to screen for COVID safely and effectively.
FAQ: RAT Testing & Your Business
Please note: the FAQs below are intended as a rough guide for businesses looking to implement rapid antigen testing among their staff. To find official information on RATs, head to the Ministry of Health rapid antigen testing page.
Which personal protective equipment (PPE) items should I use when administering RAT tests?
At minimum, it’s important to wear a medical-grade mask, and use a fresh pair of disposable gloves for handling each test. Other PPE items which could be helpful include protective clothing like disposable gowns, and full face shields to avoid viral spread in windy environments. PPE is also key for ensuring that rapid antigen tests are not accidentally contaminated by those conducting the testing.
Where should I conduct rapid antigen tests for staff?
While there’s a number of appropriate potential venues for conducting rapid antigen testing, many businesses are finding that drive through testing works for them. The outdoor setting guarantees excellent airflow, reducing the chance of viral spread, and the ability for staff to isolate in their cars while they await a result is a huge bonus. “If they are a positive case, it’s good if they remain in the car to prevent spreading any infection,” said Ana T., Office/Facilities Manager at NXP.
What if a staff member returns a positive rapid antigen test?
Place the positive test in a sealed bag for safe disposal. It’s important to have the staff member in question go straight home and isolate, and to register their positive result via the Ministry of Health ‘My Covid Record’ site. NXP’s Office/Facilities Manager Ana T. said that it’s important not to make anyone feel discriminated against: “We just say ‘Hey look, your test is positive, but don’t worry because that’s quite common these days’. We try to make them feel relaxed about it, like it’s not a big deal.”
How do I record and report RAT results?
Report all positive rapid antigen test results through the Ministry of Health ‘My Covid Record’ site – this is important in order for staff to access the Government’s COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme. NXP’s General Manager HR, Anna S., explained a little about how we handle positive RAT results at NXP: “Internally we keep a register of those who have tested positive and those who are household contacts, including their dates of return, whether they can work from home, and if we are applying for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme”. Access to staff health information should be tightly restricted, in line with all appropriate privacy policies.
Why use RAT testing for your business?
Rapid antigen testing returns results in a matter of minutes (approx. 10-20 minutes: check test pack instructions for specifics), allowing businesses to quickly screen out a significant percentage of positive cases before they have the chance to spread the virus to other staff or customers. Additionally, staff who test positive and aren’t able to work from home are eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme, as long as their positive result is registered via the Ministry of Health ‘My Covid Record’ site.
To get hold of rapid antigen tests for your business, or to find out more about how RATs work, go to the NXP Rapid Antigen Tests page and order yours today.