The high risk of contracting the coronavirus resulted in the implementation of social distancing rules in all medical and health facilities across the United States. It presents a greater challenge, consequently, to carry out corporate drug screening.

Why the need for a drug testing service?

A drug testing service is a necessary health-related service in the United States that is primarily aimed at deterring employees from abusing drugs and preventing potential applicants from becoming part of the workforce. It also helps prevent productivity issues and drug-related accidents at work. With drug-screened applicants, businesses can reduce employee turnover and limit the negative impact that unhealthy employees can bring to the table.

In a global crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, drug testing facilities are prioritizing the safety of their staff and clients. As a result, they are implementing a few adjustments to the drug testing protocols and schedules to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus within the facilities.

Postponement of Drug Testing in Clinical Practice

Drug testing results, like those of a urine test, uncover vital information for the comprehensive treatment of drug disorders such as the Opioid Use Disorder. Health professionals utilize strategies like self-reported use of a substance, checking of the state prescription, refill requests, and other indications of improvement. 

In communities where the risks of getting infected by the coronavirus is higher, companies and organizations are pausing random drug tests. There is, however, continued access to ongoing addiction medication or treatment without the need to visit a facility.

Exploring Options for Drug Testing at a Distance

Where drug testing is necessary, facilities adhere to the standard protocol but with emphasis on social distancing and proper hygiene among everyone involved in the tests. Medical personnel are required to wear personal protective equipment or PPE for protection from possible exposure to the virus.

Since the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing might continue for some time, other alternatives are being taken into consideration, such as drug testing from homes using fluid-based tests or home breathalyzer tests that are monitored via telehealth.

Protocols for Protection from the Coronavirus

Because some companies also provide a Employment Assistance Program to troubled employees, treatments must continue. If going to drug testing facilities can’t be avoided, alternative health protocols must be followed:

  • Screening before arrival. Before going to the facility, ask patients about important details such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, travel history. Otherwise, advise the sick patient to stay at home.
  • Waiting room precautions. People need to be reminded about hand hygiene and coughing or sneezing etiquette. Also, advise patients to sit six feet apart, wear a mask, and isolate sick patients in private rooms.
  • Expanding access to medications. Patients who come in on a daily basis to receive their medication must be given alternatives for access to avoid regular visitations to the facility.
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