Immunity tests are popular in the United States, especially in businesses. With a view to reopening, small and large companies are considering testing their employees to identify the presence of antibodies generated by Covid-19. Their goal: to speed up the return of employees who have been cured or exposed to the virus without knowing it.
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“We cannot guarantee a risk of zero contamination, but any action to reduce this risk is good to take”says Michael Hackman, owner of production studios in California. He is one of the employers who want to use these serological tests, among other measures.
Amazon will have its own laboratory
The question of screening is gaining importance in the United States when several states (Georgia, Texas, etc.) initiated, in late April, their first deconfinement measures and reopened some of their businesses. Companies are wondering how to revive their activity without endangering their employees. The retail giant Amazon announced in early April the launch of its own laboratory to test some of its employees while Whirlpool, the maker of household appliances, plans to carry out temperature checks.
In Arizona, Rose Law Group, a law firm, has decided to fund immunity tests for its employees. In California, a medical software company tested its 415 employees at a parking lot and discovered that 10% of them had developed antibodies. A dietary supplement company based in Florida and Connecticut
subjected staff and providers to examinations for “Bring peace of mind to our employees “.
Questions about test reliability
Despite the craze for immunity testing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) warns employers to be careful. While allowing them to perform tests related to the Covid-19 and to take other measures, such as taking a temperature, it warns them of unreliable or inaccurate results.
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“There are still a lot of questions around the testingimmunityé. It is not known how long the antibodies protect their carrier, for example. Tests can mislead people into thinking they are immune when they are not, explains Diana Berrent, founder of Survivor Corps, an association of Covid-19 healers. These tests should not be used until they are reliable. “