One of the vexing issues employers are facing is how to welcome workers back to their jobs without subjecting them to undue risk of exposure to COVID-19. Testing each person before they’re permitted to enter the building might sound like the safest option, but doing so would be so time-consuming as to be completely impractical. Pool sampling—in which a batch of samples is run through a single diagnostic test—could be one way to test large groups of people as efficiently as possible. The Food and Drug Administration just issued an emergency use authorization for Quest Diagnostic’s SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR test, which can process up to four samples in the same batch. If any of the samples is positive for the virus, each of the individuals who provided the samples is tested individually. If all are negative, there’s no need for further evaluation. This process negates the need to test each person individually, thereby reducing the time and resources necessary to assess the workforce. Additional approvals for manufacturers to produce batch sampling tests are expected to follow.
Could Pool Sampling Ease the Burden on Your Occ Med Customers? We May Find Out Soon