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SARS-CoV-2 Testing Strategy: Considerations for Non-Healthcare Workplaces

· Wellness,Health,Safety,COVID-19

These interim considerations on SARS-CoV-2 testing strategies for non-healthcare workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic are based on what is currently known about the transmission and severity of COVID-19 as of the date of posting, July 22, 2020.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update these considerations as needed and as additional information becomes available. Please check the CDC website periodically for updated interim guidance.

SARS-CoV-2 testing may be incorporated as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing transmission in non-healthcare workplaces. Symptom screening, testing, and contact tracing are strategies to identify workers infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, so that actions can be taken to slow and stop the spread of the virus.

Employees undergoing testing should receive clear information on:

  • the manufacturer and name of the test, the type of test, the purpose of the test, the reliability of the test, any limitations associated with the test, who will pay for the test, and how the test will be performed, and
  • how to understand what the results mean, actions associated with negative or positive results, who will receive the results, how the results may be used, and any consequences for declining to be tested.

Individuals tested are required to receive patient fact sheets as part of the test’s emergency use authorization.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim guidance for enforcing the requirements of 29 CFR Part 1904 with respect to the recording of occupational illnesses, specifically cases of COVID-19. Under OSHA’s record-keeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and thus employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19, if the case meets certain requirements. Employers are encouraged to frequently check OSHA’s webpage at for updates.

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