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A Guide To Performing Rapid Antigen Testing At Work

As New Zealand's Omicron outbreak gains momentum, we have seen a surge in sales of Rapid Antigen Tests.

Despite having the benefit of watching & learning from other countries, New Zealand was still behind the 8 ball on having enough Rapid Antigen Tests available for small to medium businesses.

We are seeing stock finally arrive in the country, which will allow New Zealand Workplaces to test staff on site and have results quicker and with less time away from the business.

Many of our customers have been asking for details of what they do when they test a staff member and it comes back positive.

If a worker is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms then the worker needs to undertake a PCR test and isolate at home until results are returned. PCR tests are much more accurate. RAT (Rapid Antigen Tests) produce an average of 4 false tests per 1000 tests.

Work schemes should follow up positive results with a PCR test.

The below flow chart outlines the process for a workplace to follow in the case of a positive RAT test.

 

If a test is positive, follow up immediately with a second test. If the second test is positive the worker will leave the worksite and self isolate at home. They will also need to take a PCR test. If this result is indeed positive, public health will call the individual directly and they must follow steps as advised.

Contacts of the worker should take a RAT test and continue daily RAT tests until the worker suspected with a positive has his PCR test result confirmed. 2m Physical distancing and good standard PPE should also be used.

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