Currently there is much information circulating in the media about COVID-19 testing, and several IYR employees have asked about testing. This is another area of the pandemic where new information is coming out almost daily, and some of that information is unclear or inconsistent. Here are some important things for you to know about testing.
- Prevention: If we are diligent and consistent in following our social distancing guidelines, cleaning protocols, and the other safety procedures we have implemented to allow our different businesses to continue to operate or to re-open, we can keep our staff healthy and avoid the need for testing. This is our first and best line of defense.
- Types of COVID-19 Tests: There are two basic types of COVID-19 tests, and many different varieties and providers of those tests. The two types of tests have different purposes and detect different things.
- Diagnostic Test. It detects the virus in a sample from your respiratory system (typically from a nasal swab). This test is very accurate and tells you if you are currently infected with COVID-19.
- Antibody Test. From a blood sample it detects whether your body has created antibodies (a function of your immune system) to fight the virus. It shows if you have previously been infected with the virus. Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the test, it may not find antibodies in someone who is currently infected with COVID-19. This is because in the early days of infection the body’s defenses may not have kicked in yet.
If you do get tested, be sure you understand what test you are receiving and what the results will mean. Also, be aware that not all advertised testing has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration.
- Cost of Testing: If you are covered under an IYR group health insurance plan (or another group plan), the cost of COVID-19 testing is covered with no expense to you. If you do not have insurance coverage there are some avenues available to seek help to pay for testing. HR can help you with that process.
- Availability of Testing: Testing is more widely available now than it was at the onset of the pandemic. You may be able to be tested even if you have no symptoms and have not been referred by a medical provider.
If you have questions about COVID-19 testing, including your options on how you can receive a test, please contact HR. They will answer your questions and guide you based on your individual circumstances.