COVID-19 protection for your employees

Solutions for working in the new normal.

COVID-19 protection for your employees

Solutions for working in the new normal.



COVID-19

Infection protection of employees


Despite high SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety standards (Distancing, Masks, Hygiene), there is an increased risk in autumn and winter 2020/2021. Frequently, cold symptoms resemble a SARS-CoV-2 infection, making many employees uncertain whether they themselves or colleagues are infected. As a result, there is a high level of downtime because employees prefer to work in the home office, receive a sick note in the event of slight cold symptoms or the employer releases employees with a cold and their direct colleagues as a precaution. We offer COVID-19 protection programs to increase employee safety in the workplace and prevent unjustified downtime.

Our protection programs include preventive COVID-19 antigen and antibody rapid tests. Antigen rapid tests provide evidence of acute infection and antibody rapid tests provide evidence of temporary immunity after infection has occurred. Together, the test procedures cover the entire course of a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Antigen and antibody rapid tests are used to increase productivity and ensure that operations can continue in the New Normal. In the New Normal, a renewed lockdown must be avoided and the time until an effective vaccine is widely used must be bridged.

 
 

„New Corporate Health Management and Employee Health Protection in Context of COVID-19”

Patrick Hofmann and Prof. David Matusiewicz
 

Our Solution


In addition, we offer: Preparation of tailor-made pandemic plans
  • Prevention - Detection - Management
  • Definition of measures
  • Training of employees
  • Phone-consultation if necessary

"First of all, it's about protecting our employees. We have laid a foundation here, we have a system. And we need to keep our business going. That's what it's all about."

Axel Kröger
Managing Director Konrad Zippel Spediteur GmbH & Co. KG




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About our test procedures


TO USE RAPID TESTS, QUALITY AND ACCURACY MUST BE GUARANTEED.

  • Accuracy of 97-100%
  • Proof of quality through scientific studies
  • Certificates and approvals (CE and ISO certified, FDA EUA)
  • Professional on site application at the corporate premises
  • Test result available within 10-15 min
  • Cheaper than comparable laboratory tests

Procedure of a Corona Antigen Rapid Test

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Possible results of a Corona Antigen Rapid Test

Procedure of a Corona Antibody Rapid Test

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Possible Results of a Corona Antibody Rapid Test

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internal process control “C“ positiv, correct result only with color display
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IgM-positiv is a sign of a possible acute infection. PCR test if prescribed by a doctor
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IgM/IgG-positiv are signs of a subsiding acute infection. Virus detection by PCR test
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IgG-positiv is a sign of a past infection; high probability of temporary immunity
Differentiation of the test procedures SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 Rapid Tests (In-Vitro Diagnostic)
Procedures Antigen Rapid Test*
*according to list BfArM
Antibody Rapid Test
Method immunochromatographic Lateral-Flow-Assays Chromatographic Lateral-Flow-Immunoassays
Sample type Nasal swab Blood from the fingertip
Operational application Professional application by medically educated staff on site (no laboratory necessary)
Duration of results 15 min.
(result directly readable)
10 min.
(result directly readable)
Accuracy approx. 90-99% approx. 99-100%
Certificates CE-Labeling for IVD CE-Labeling for IVD

OUR PARTNERS

MMS
Dr. med. Jens Tülsner, MD
Managing Director Marine Medical Solutions
www.marinemedical.solutions

Maintaining the health of the crew and guests in all areas of the "mobility" sector (tourism, logistics, transport) creates special conditions and requirements. MMS specializes in finding and supporting solutions - from concept to implementation, from consulting to management. Comprehensive industry know-how and years of experience in medicine guarantee customers safety, efficiency and cost savings.
meduplus
Dr. med. Jörg Ansorg, MD
Managing Director meduplus
www.meduplus.de

meduplus comes from active patient care and at the same time has decades of experience as a trainer in further and advanced medical education. At meduplus, medical background is combined with know-how in new media and mobile communication. On this basis, meduplus develops new learning opportunities for physicians, nurses and medical professionals together with specialist experts, didactics and educators as well as IT specialists.

OUR REFERENCES

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PRESS

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Frequently asked questions

Detection of a COVID-19 infection

1How long does infectiousness or risk of infection exist?
The average disease lasts about 8-9 days. Based on real data, the RKI estimates that a relevant infectiousness is already present two days before the onset of symptoms and the highest infectivity is on the day before the onset of symptoms. Therefore, early infections may be detected too late, after other people may already have been infected. The Federal Government's COVID-19 App is intended to enable the health authorities to track potential infections at a later date.
2When are COVID-19 PCR tests used for virus detection?
Up to now, medical PCR laboratory tests are mainly performed in case of justified suspicion or symptoms of acute infections. If the test results are positive, the Federal Government's corona app helps health authorities to track and interrupt chains of infection to prevent them from spreading. Additionally, tests are offered at airports.
3What to do in case of acute symptoms or a well-founded suspicion?
Employees with acute COVID-19 symptoms or with a reasonable suspicion should consult a physician. If in doubt, employees should not come to the office until it has been clarified whether it is a COVID-19 infection or after a domestic quarantine.
4How is an acute infection detected?
An acute infection is diagnosed by direct pathogen detection using a PCR pathogen test, which is primarily carried out by a medical laboratory on the doctor's orders. The virus genome is detected using highly sensitive molecular test systems (real-time PCR). The pure test time is about 4 to 5 hours. The time between sample collection and result notification can be one to two days, depending on the sample volume the result notification can take longer. In the early phase, smears from the upper airways are particularly suitable as sample material (throat swabs or nasal swabs).
5How are virus and antibodies related?
PCR virus detection using a mouth-nose swab is used to detect an acute COVID-19 infection. In the course of an infection, the pathogens decrease and specific COVID-19 antibodies are formed as a defensive reaction of the body, which leads to a temporary immunity.

Meaningfulness of COVID-19 antigen rapid tests

1What do rapid antigen tests tell us?
The rapid antigen test is based on the detection of viral protein in respiratory specimen material (throat and nasal swab). The rapid test format is a useful addition to the PCR laboratory test procedures in order to make a quick initial (preliminary) decision on the possible presence of a transmission-relevant SARS-CoV-2 infection on site.
2How long is the incubation period?
The incubation period indicates the time from infection to the beginning of the disease. For a COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, most studies indicate an incubation period of 5-6 days. In this phase, the virus is hardly ever detected by testing procedures, as the persons usually do not feel ill and if the suspicion is unfounded, no test is initiated so that the virus carriers can infect other persons.
3How long does a COVID-19 infection last?
The average disease lasts about 8-9 days. After a medical diagnosis, a report is made to the responsible public health department. The official requirements and quarantine regulations must be observed. Tracking of the chains of infection is done by the public health authorities.
4When is the virus detectable?
An infection can be detected by diagnostic test procedures if sufficient pathogens are present in the sample material (throat and nasal swap). The antigen rapid test is less sensitive compared to a PCR laboratory test and therefore detects an acute infection when a viral threshold has formed.
5What are the advantages of antigen rapid tests over PCR laboratory tests?
Antigen rapid test enables preventive screening: 1. Fast results in approx. 15 min 2. professional application on site, without laboratory, 3. cheaper than the PCR laboratory test. Antigen rapid tests have an adequate accuracy to detect possible acute infections with mild and mild symptoms early or in time.
6How do rapid antigen tests fit into the test strategy?
The rapid antigen test offers pragmatic advantages by providing rapid results and can be used anywhere. Thus, preventive test concepts can be implemented much easier and cheaper. In case of suspicion, the rapid antigen test can be used at an early stage and, if the results are positive, a possible infection can be detected by medical diagnostics using a PCR laboratory test.
7What accuracy do rapid antigen tests have?
The analytical sensitivity of antigen rapid tests is usually below the sensitivity of the PCR laboratory test due to the test principle. Some virologists see a lower sensitivity as an advantage, since a higher detection limit excludes people with a low viral load, as they have a lower risk of infection.
8What does a positive antigen rapid test mean?
A positive SARS-CoV-2 antigen result indicates a possible acute COVID-19 infection. The person tested should immediately consult a physician who will order a PCR laboratory test if necessary.
9What does a negative antigen rapid test mean?
A negative SARS-CoV-2 antigen result indicates no acute COVID-19 infection. The person tested should nevertheless consult a physician if symptoms occur, who will order a PCR laboratory test if necessary.
10What limitations do antigen rapid tests have?
Currently there are still too few studies available that independently confirm the manufacturers' performance data. Independent validation studies are currently being performed. Until their results are available, rapid tests are not recommended for medical diagnostic use. The PCR laboratory test remains the medical gold standard.
11What is the difference between antigen rapid tests and PCR laboratory tests?
The PCR laboratory is the medical gold standard for diagnosis (detection) of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. The Antigen Rapid Test is a useful supplement for rapid and early on-site screening for possible acute infection.

Meaningfulness of COVID-19 antibody rapid tests

1What do antibodies tell us?
Antibodies are usually formed from the end of the 2nd week in the course of an infection as a defensive reaction of the body, which with a very high probability leads to a temporary immunity. Antibody rapid tests refer exclusively to COVID-19 antibodies, which are formed only during the course of an infection and have a temporary immunizing effect after an infection has been overcome. It is still unclear at this stage how regular, robust and permanent this immune status is built up.
2Why are antibody rapid tests important?
Antibody tests provide reliable IgG detection of whether a COVID-19 infection has already occurred and temporary immunity exists. A COVID-19 infection leads to mild and asymptomatic courses in about 80% of cases and often remains undetected. Therefore there is a high under-recording (estimated number of unreported cases is about 10-20x higher).
3What accuracy do rapid antibody tests have?
The quality of results is increased up to 99.99% by repeated antibody testing, reducing the risk of false positive IgG detection from 1:100 to up to 1:10,000. Temporary immunity is detected by an IgG-positive test result. The IgG accuracy of high quality rapid tests is 98.5-99.0%; probability that an immunity is correctly indicated. In operational practice, a positive test result is followed by a second rapid test for confirmation. This procedure increases IgG accuracy up to 99.99%.
4What does a positive IgM antibody mean?
IgM antibody is produced as an early immune response of the body after COVID-19 infection. The single detection of IgM antibody does not indicate an acute infection with certainty. The assessment of whether the detection indicates an acute infection must be carried out by the diagnosing laboratory within the framework of the laboratory medical findings by means of PCR pathogen detection, taking into account the characteristics of the tests used in each case, any preliminary examinations carried out and any anamnestic information provided by the diagnosing laboratory.
5What does a positive IgG antibody mean?
Immunized employees are IgG-positive and have already gone through an infection. These employees are most likely temporarily immune. Experience with other coronavirus diseases (SARS and MERS) suggests that immunity could last up to three years. In order to determine this more precisely, longitudinal studies are required which observe the immunity of the patients over a longer period of time. Based on animal experiments, earlier findings on SARS and plausibility assumptions, experts assume that recovered patients have only a very low risk of reinfection.
6What does a negative antibody test mean?
Employees who have not undergone COVID-19 infection are tested negative for antibodies. For these persons there is still a risk of infection and contagion. Based on the SARS-CoV-2 occupational health and safety standards, employees can work with restrictions; persons in risk groups should remain in the home office if necessary. In any case, employees who show symptoms or have a reasonable suspicion of infection should not return to work and consult a doctor.
7Is there COVID-19 immunity?
Experience with other coronavirus diseases (SARS and MERS) suggests that immunity could last up to three years. In order to determine this more precisely, longitudinal studies are required which observe the immunity of the patients over a longer period of time. Based on animal experiments, earlier findings on SARS and plausibility assumptions, experts assume that recovered patients have only a very low risk of reinfection.
8What limitations do antibody rapid tests have?
Antibody rapid tests do not detect the presence of acute COVID-19 infection. Antibody Rapid Tests provide a qualitative result on the presence of COVID-19 IgM/IgG antibodies, which can be detected after approximately 2 weeks of infection. It is still unclear at this stage how regularly, robustly and permanently this immune status is established, so that immunized IgG-positive employees should be tested regularly on a monthly basis to determine whether IgG antibodies can still be detected.
9What is the difference between antibody rapid test and antibody laboratory test
The IgG accuracy of 98.5-99.0% of high-quality rapid tests is comparable to the accuracy of the ELISA laboratory test. For COVID-19 antibody rapid tests, a drop of blood from the fingertip is sufficient to detect antibodies easily and quickly (in 10 minutes). For COVID-19 antibody laboratory test, blood is taken from the vein and analyzed in the laboratory (at least 1-2 days). Unlike the rapid test, the laboratory test requires a doctor and/or a laboratory physician.

Operational use of preventive COVID-19 antigen rapid tests

1Why do antigen rapid tests offer additional protection in the workplace?
Antigen rapid tests allow a quick pre-selection of possibly infected employees, on-site at the company by professional users. The test result is ready in about 15 minutes. so that preventive testing on suspicion or as regular preselection offers additional protection. Potentially infected employees are detected early, thus reducing the risk of infection for others.
2What advantages do antigen rapid tests offer employers?
Effective measure for preventive safeguarding of the continuation of the company in the New Normal. Reduction of high downtimes by isolation and quarantine of 1-2 weeks in case of corona suspicion, for example in case of cold symptoms of an employee including direct colleagues Reduction of the lockdown risk ("Black Swan Event") with significant negative economic consequences for all stakeholders Positive effect of corporate self-responsibility on public perception (employer branding) as a responsible measure of corporate welfare
3What are the benefits of rapid antigen testing for employees?
Free available tests (antigen and antibodies) financed by the employer as a voluntary offer for employees (participation >90%) Increased safety to protect employees and their families through preventive rapid test concepts (pre-selection/screening). Operational test procedures provide adequate accuracy are a positive feel-good factor in the new normality.
4How should antigen rapid tests be used on the farm?
Rapid antigen tests can be used in situations of suspicion and regularly for prevention. The specific risk profile of the operation and the site are decisive for the customized test concept. For low risk, situational tests may be sufficient, whereas for higher risk of a local hotspot or risk area, regular tests, e.g. weekly, are useful. The tests are voluntary for the employees and are financed by the employer.
5Who should be involved in the decision about antigen rapid tests on the farm?
The decision on the use of rapid antigen tests is an entrepreneurial decision made by the management in consultation with internal departments and with the involvement of the company physician. The introduction of rapid antigen testing is a voluntary additional operational measure. The official COVID-19 occupational safety standards continue to apply and remain unaffected by the test concept.
6How are the antigen rapid tests introduced on the farm?
The operational introduction is carried out by medically trained first aiders or paramedics. The training is provided by our medical eLearning partner "meduplus". The qualification of the company users is coordinated with the company doctor. The test offer is voluntary for the employees and is financed by the employer. In case of increased risk, regular test offers can be agreed between employees and employers.
7How often should employees be tested for antigens?
The entry can be done by selective antigen rapid tests, which can be used depending on the situation. Regular testing can be introduced as the number of infections increases. The test frequency adapts to the risk profile from once a week to daily in the risk area. The test frequency can be differentiated according to business unit and department. For example, employees in production, logistics or trade and distribution can be tested more frequently than employees in accounting, who can also work from home.
8How are antigen rapid tests used in daily work?
Simple and fast implementation of the regular test concept on site in the company by trained first aiders. Our full service solution including Tests, training and implementation serve a professional application in everyday work. The test concept is adapted in terms of operational risks, by increasing the test frequency as the number of infections increases up to hotspots or risk areas.
9What does a professional application in operation mean?
Antigen rapid tests are medical devices for in vitro diagnostics (IVD) and therefore require professional application. In the operational context, a preventive pre-selection of possibly infected persons is carried out by medically trained first aiders or paramedics. The medical diagnosis can only be made by a doctor, who will arrange for a PCR test if necessary.
10What is important for the training of business users?
The qualified collection of samples by nasal swab is decisive for the quality of results in all test procedures. The performance of a nasal swab requires instruction by our medical training. This enables the users to perform the test professionally, which the company doctor can assure himself of.

Operational use of preventive COVID-19 antibody rapid tests

1What is the immunity status of the staff?
The vast majority of the workforce still has no immune protection against SARS-CoV-2. So far, only a small proportion of people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and are - probably and at least for some time - immune to the virus. It is still unclear at this stage how regular, robust and permanent this immune status is built up.
2Why do the majority of infections remain undetected?
Most, about 80%, of nCoV-2 infections show mild or asymptomatic courses similar to influenza or colds and therefore often go undetected (the number of undetected cases is probably 10-20 times higher than confirmed infections). A prevention strategy must take into account both possible acute cases and mild courses, since the pathogen is often detected in the early infection phase only in symptomatic courses.
3Why do antibody rapid tests offer additional protection in the workplace?
After an infection, antibodies are formed, which most likely create a temporary immunity. These employees have a low risk of reinfection and infection and could return to work, travel and interact with customers. Antibody rapid tests identify immunized employees who are very unlikely to infect other employees. It is still unclear at this stage how regular, robust and permanent this immune status is built up, so that these employees should be tested monthly for antibodies.
4Why should antibody rapid tests be used on the farm?
Antibody rapid tests provide certainty about the immunity status of employees and optimize protection at the workplace in the "New Normal". Asymptomatic courses remain too often undetected. The undetected number of immunized employees is about 10-20 times the number of detected infections. Immunized employees have a low risk of reinfection and infection for other people. The SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety standards of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs form the operational basis, but do not offer absolute protection against COVID-19.
5What additional safety do rapid antibody tests provide in the workplace?
Many employees are unsure whether they have already been through an infection. Antibody rapid tests are used to identify immunized employees who have already gone through an infection. They are very likely to be temporarily immune and have a low risk of reinfection and infection. Immunized employees can participate in everyday work with greater safety. Usually, antibodies are detectable from the 2nd week after the onset of symptoms. It is still unclear at this stage how regularly, robustly and permanently this immune status is established, so that immunized employees should continue to be tested regularly on a monthly basis.
6Why are antibody rapid tests important on the job?
The optimal protection of employees requires a differentiated approach. The following groups of employees can be distinguished. Immunized Employees are IgG positive and can return to work. Employees - without Symptoms, who are tested negative for antibodies can continue to work in compliance with occupational health and safety standards Employees - without symptoms who test IgM positive contact their doctor immediately. The same applies to Employees - with Symptoms, who can obtain a PCR virus detection test on doctor's orders.
7What advantages do rapid antibody tests offer employers?
Immunized employees have a lower risk of reinfection and infection and can be used again in everyday work. Due to the high number of unreported cases, employees are also tested for antibodies whose infection has not been detected. Antibody rapid tests help reduce uncertainty and increase the productivity of immunized workers in the workplace. As the the rate of infection of the population continues, the number of immunized employees who can be used more safely in the workplace will continue to increase. It is still unclear at this stage how regularly, robustly and permanently this immune status is established, so that immunized IgG-positive employees should continue to be tested regularly on a monthly basis to determine whether IgG antibodies can be detected.
8What are the benefits of rapid antibody testing for employees?
Employees are unsure whether they themselves or others were already infected with COVID-19 and are now immune. Asymptomatic and mild courses are similar to a common flu and therefore often remain undetected. A positive IgG antibody test confirms a temporary immunity after a passed infection. Immunized workers have a low risk of reinfection and infection of others. Employees and their families have an increased need for safety and welcome the introduction of rapid antibody testing in the workplace. It is still unclear at this stage how regularly, robustly and permanently this immune status is established, so that immunized IgG-positive employees should continue to be tested regularly on a monthly basis to determine whether IgG antibodies can be detected.
9Who should be involved in the decision about rapid antibody testing in the company?
The introduction and regular implementation require the organizational involvement of stakeholders such as management, works council or employee representatives, works doctor and employees. A common approach based on consensus promotes acceptance in the company. It is a voluntary offer for employees.
10How are rapid antibody tests introduced in the company?
First, a site-specific test concept must be developed and approved. This is the basis for the training of company users by doctors and the communication to the employees. Performing the test and documenting the results is voluntary and requires the consent of the employees.
11How often should employees be tested for antibodies?
The test frequency varies with the risk assessment of the workplace. The frequency of changing contacts, the extent of travel, the type and importance of the workplace for the maintenance of the business as well as private circumstances (family celebrations) must be taken into account. A regular test offer with a weekly or monthly minimum frequency creates a reliable basis. A test office, which is open daily at certain times, offers employees the opportunity to conduct additional tests depending on the situation.
12How are rapid antibody tests used in everyday work?
Antibody rapid tests are IVD medical devices that require professional application. For this purpose, qualified employees (e.g. first-aiders) must be trained in the application and evaluation of the antibody rapid test. The employees are basically free to decide whether they want to be tested. The test and the release of the data are voluntary.
13What does a professional application of the antibody rapid tests mean in a company?
What is necessary is the professional training of the operational users (e.g. first aiders) by physicians, the development of a site-related test concept as well as the documentation and communication of the results. A professional application in an operational environment is an absolute prerequisite for the use of antibody rapid tests.

Costs and benefits of preventive COVID-19 rapid tests

1What have our infection control measures achieved so far?
The first COVID-19 wave in Germany was successfully flattened. The rapid and extensive infection control measures and the good cooperation of the population were decisive. However, this in no way means that the pandemic in Germany has been overcome. The risk of a 2nd wave in autumn/winter 2020/2021 exists. There is no absolute protection from COVID-19, it is more about doing what is possible to protect employees.
2Which protective measures are effective to reduce the risk of transmission?
Rapid isolation of positively tested cases, identification and early quarantine of close contact persons, keeping distance from other people, observing hygiene rules and wearing (everyday) masks are effective measures to reduce the risk of transmission. The SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety standards of the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs form the operational basis.
3Can there be a second COVID-19 wave?
What is essential is whether the solidarity-based responsibility of the population to comply with the extensive infection control measures continues. It must be expected that the number of cases may increase again and a second COVID-19 wave may occur. The risk factors are many and varied, for example due to infections introduced by holidaymakers returning from vacation or business travelers.
4How long are rapid tests needed?
As long as there is no vaccine, there is an increased risk of infection. Until an effective vaccine is available, the aim is to prevent exponential spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Extensive official measures have been introduced for this purpose, which must be observed accordingly. In addition, rapid antigen tests help to detect acute infections at an early stage and trace infection chains faster to prevent uncontrolled spread.
5What happens when a vaccine is available?
It is currently difficult to estimate if and when an effective vaccine will be widely available to the population. It remains to be seen how sustainable the vaccine will be, whether immunity is permanent or temporary. Some experts and politicians predict a rapid development, so that the vaccine could possibly be widely available from mid 2021.
6What does the introduction of rapid tests cost?
Depending on the test frequency the costs for regular monthly tests of all employees amount to approximately 0.5% - 2% of the payroll cost . The costs include testing and professional application in operation. DNA4GOOD offers an all full-service offer of test plus service for the professional application in companies. There are offers for rapid antibody tests on the Internet, which vary greatly with the quality of the tests and do not include a service for professional application.

The costs of using rapid tests should be assessed in the context of operational risks. The reduction of unjustified downtime through isolation and quarantine of 1-2 weeks in case of corona suspicion of an employee including direct colleagues. The objective is to reduce the lockdown risk ("Black Swan Event") with significant negative economic consequences for all stakeholders.
Source: Robert Koch Institut
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