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Companies using self-administered COVID-19 tests to reopen safely

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Posted at 2:06 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 16:06:40-05

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Going back into the office may look a lot different for Americans with new protocols designed to keep employees safe.

Working with seniors, safety during the pandemic was paramount for Right at Home senior care.

“We provide a combination of companionship, homemaking services, as well as hands-on personal care, basically through end of life," said Lorette Oliver, owner of Right at Home in Northern San Diego.

She says business slowed down early in the pandemic with clients and caregivers concerned about the virus. But in the months that followed, seniors needed their help more than ever.

“Not only did we still provide the same services we did previously, but companionship became even more important," said Oliver.

When COVID-19 testing was limited, Oliver’s team arranged appointments for caregivers, a costly undertaking, especially if they needed quick results.

Now, they're able to administer tests in the office.

"We have access directly in our office to rapid response tests at a much lower rate," said Oliver. "We don’t have to send our caregivers out; they can come directly to us, and we can administer it and get the results much quicker."

Working with USA Rapid Test, they have different three COVID-19 tests: rapid antibody test, rapid antigen test, and a PCR mouthwash.

Oliver says they'll first use the antibody test to determine if someone has antibodies, indicating they were recently infected or if they’ve developed immunity after infection.

“The rapid response antibody test is very affordable for us, and nine times out of 10 our tests are negative," Oliver said.

“We have a purpose of getting America back to work again," said David Lee Jensen, founder and CEO of USA Rapid Test.

The Florida entrepreneur says he wanted to make it easier for businesses to reopen.

“In the beginning, we asked, 'What do you need? What do you want?' Entrepreneurship is solving a problem that people have," said Jensen.

Developed in the United States, Jensen says all of the tests have received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA. His company also provides guidance on protocols and tips on how to roll out a testing program.

“We have videos. We have information. We have free downloads," said Jensen. "We provide as much information about protocol, not just selling tests.”

The tests are typically delivered to customers the next day.

Oliver says the tests give both clients and caregivers peace of mind.

“It’s a lot easier to sleep at night, basically knowing that we have the resources that we need to quickly assess situations and safely move through solutions a lot quicker."

Even with the vaccine, Jensen anticipates the testing tools will be needed in the months ahead. He says some people do not want to get the vaccine, and others waiting for their second dose could still be susceptible to infection.

“Mankind, as a whole, we know how to solve problems when our backs are against the wall, and I think a lot of business owners are doing that," Jensen said.

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