The Biden administration has announced a new vaccinate-or-test mandate to drive more progress and increase the number of those vaccinated across America [1]. This policy under the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will impact about 84 million employees in the United States.

As a result of this new vaccination requirement, employers with 100 or more employees must ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or testing for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis. With this policy going into effect on January 4, 2022, companies will need an efficient program to prove that their unvaccinated employees have taken properly administered tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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What the vaccinate-or-test mandate means for employers

OSHA’s vaccinate-or-test mandate will preempt State or local requirements that stop or limit an employer from requiring vaccination, testing, or face covering. Businesses that do not comply with this new vaccination requirement can face steep monetary penalties. The total amount of fines a business may face will depend on the number of violations and whether they have intentionally disregarded the policies.

According to OSHA, fines for serious violations can reach up to $13,653 per violation, while fines for willful violations may cost employers up to $136,532 per violation [2]. OSHA will enforce these mandates through limited inspections or whistleblower complaints.

LetsGetChecked’s at-home COVID-19 tests can help employers comply with the Biden administration’s new mandate. Our accurate and timely tests allow businesses to keep their workforce safe while maintaining productivity and minimizing costs. By overseeing the taking of the COVID-19 tests, we can share testing information with the appropriate state and federal agencies without employers having to worry about HIPAA or ADA compliance.

How PCR testing compares to rapid antigen testing

There are two types of COVID-19 tests: polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid antigen tests. LetsGetChecked offers PCR tests which are the most accurate and reliable method for detecting active infections since they test for the presence of the virus’s genetic material as it breaks down. In contrast, rapid antigen tests detect antigens, the proteins on the virus’s surface. This type of test was specifically designed to test people exhibiting symptoms or for emergency triage,

While antigen tests only take about 15 to 30 minutes to complete, they are less sensitive than PCR tests and are more likely to miss the infection or provide a false negative result. Even if a rapid antigen test produces a negative result, a PCR test may be necessary to confirm it. People that are asymptomatic and taking over-the-counter rapid antigen tests must take two tests at least 24 hours apart. So, even though the rapid antigen test can produce results in as little as 15 minutes, people will experience at least a 24-hour delay.

Related article: Rapid Testing vs RT-PCR Testing: What are the Different Types of COVID-19 Tests?

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Easily roll out a weekly testing program with LetsGetChecked

LetsGetChecked can help employers impacted by the vaccinate-or-test mandate easily roll out a weekly testing program. Our tests are FDA cleared and approved, so you can ensure that workers are meeting policy requirements [3]. In addition, our at-home COVID-19 testing services are scalable, allowing us to tailor programs that support varying volume requests. With experience providing hundreds of organizations with our COVID-19 testing solution, our experts can develop a testing program that best meets your needs. Owning the entire spectrum, from manufacturing and shipping to the laboratory and clinical care, allows us to guarantee supplies for our clients, unlike resellers of others’ tests. We provide prompt test shipments to your organization so you can repost them to your employees’ homes and ensure they are healthy before entering your workplace.

LetsGetChecked’s at-home COVID-19 tests are easy to use, with each kit coming with instructions for sample collection and a prepaid shipping label. After our high complexity CLIA-certified laboratory receives the sample, we can typically provide secure results typically in under 24 hours. We also offer 24/7 virtual clinical support from licensed healthcare professionals for containment and care guidance. Together, we can ensure that your employees are safe and healthy by providing them with convenient and accurate COVID-19 testing that they can use from the comfort of their own homes.

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