Who needs to be tested for COVID-19
Symptomatic employees: people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
-Fever or chills
-Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
-Muscle or body aches
-New loss of taste or smell
-Congestion or runny nose
-Nausea or vomiting
Asymptomatic employees: Several studies have documented infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, in patients who never have symptoms (asymptomatic) and in patients not yet symptomatic (presymptomatic).Since people who are asymptomatic are not always tested, the prevalence of asymptomatic infection and detection of presymptomatic infection is not yet well understood. Current data, based on reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for SARS-CoV-2 and on serologic studies, suggest asymptomatic infections can be common and that the total number of infections is likely greater than the number of cases reported.
Increasing numbers of epidemiologic studies have documented SARS-CoV-2 transmission during the presymptomatic incubation period. Studies using RT-PCR detection have reported low cycle thresholds, indicating larger quantities of viral RNA, among people with asymptomatic and presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Likewise in viral culture, viral growth has been observed in specimens obtained from patients with asymptomatic and presymptomatic infection The proportion of SARS-CoV-2 transmission due to asymptomatic or presymptomatic infection compared with symptomatic infection is not entirely clear; however, recent studies do suggest that people who are not showing symptoms may transmit the virus.
Is It Wise To Screen Employees For INFLUENZA(FLU) And COVID-19
Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.
Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.