September 2nd, 2020 | Sterling

Flexible, End-to-End COVID-19 Health Testing Program Built for Employers

A lab technician in full PPE carefully testing for COVID-19

Across the US, the COVID-19 pandemic brought some businesses to a grinding halt, while at the same time essential services-based businesses grappled with unprecedented escalation of demand. Regardless of which industry your organization operates within, just like you, companies across US are working on a recovery and resiliency program that is integral to your business strategy and operations. Such a program is critical to maintaining safe workforces, and building trust among staff and the community at large, especially with scores of organizations returning to the workplace.

In such scenarios, access to the latest, high-quality COVID-19 health testing solutions for returning employees, and regularly rescreening new and existing employees, is a critical need. With concerns around long queues for testing and availability of tests that suit your needs, you need a convenient COVID-19 testing solution with capacity and capability to support your resiliency plan.

Take our quick poll below to note your greatest and most urgent testing need(s) amid COVID-19. Once you’ve weighed in, you’ll see which issues are ranking among others who took the poll as well.

Which features of a COVID-19 health testing program are most important to you? (Check all that apply)

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If you don’t presently have COVID-19 testing capability in place, or if what you do have in place is difficult and time-consuming to manage, Sterling’s end-to-end, flexible COVID-19 health testing program may be your answer. Designed to meet your unique business needs, our services are customizable, easy-to-use, and fully managed by Sterling so that you can focus on the business of getting back to business. Our testing program has been built on the three pillars: adaptable (to align to your unique needs), end-to-end (so you can focus on a comprehensive return-to-workplace plan), and reliable (leveraging our over four decades of deep industry expertise to help you navigate through these times of uncertainty). Here’s a breakdown of what each of these three pillars entails:

1. Adaptable: Suite of Customizable COVID-19 Testing Services

The importance of keeping your employees safe is paramount and can have a ripple effect of safety and trust in the community you serve. Knowing that every business is different, even within the same industry, your needs could range from grappling with complex staffing schedules, one or more locations, reliable testing, access to latest tests, option of at-home testing, and more.

With varying business needs, your schedule is just one of your many concerns, which is why you need a partner who can tailor a program that will work well for your company, without cutting any corners on safety. With the choice of a suite of packages that support a wide range of testing requirements, Sterling can customize a program for you that best suits your unique needs. Our robust range of active virus testing solutions can be extended to a location that suits your requirements, including testing at clinics, on site, and even at home.

Another top concern among employers is the lack of certainty and trust in testing parameters that are available in the market. With our extensive network of trusted partners, Sterling provides access to the latest, high-quality active virus testing capabilities, staying one step ahead by tapping on reliable COVID-19 tests as they evolve and come to market.

Healthcare reports and the CDC consistently report variations in the way affected individuals recover, or how some patients continue to show symptoms even when they are out of danger. One way to counter this uncertainty is to draft a testing plan that includes initial testing as well as re-testing. This is especially critical for companies where staff members regularly come in close contact with one another or with customers. By working to mitigate such risks, your company exemplifies its value of upholding trust and prioritizing safety in the workplace and beyond.

Many companies recognize that their influence extends beyond the employees at the company, and it is here that the essence of adaptability plays a pivotal role. Sterling’s COVID-19 health testing offers broad program coverage with testing at home extending to employees, contractors, and others doing business at your workplaces – a key requirement that matches the scale, scope, and footprint of your business.

Can Sterling provide a COVID-19 solution to my employees at home?
Can Sterling provide a COVID-19 solution to my employees at home?

2. End to End: Centralized, Tech-Enabled, One-Stop Testing Solution

Challenges to conducting background checks and testing during the pandemic varies from company to company. One way to overcome this challenge is access to robust tech and digital capabilities. Sterling’s centralized, tech-enabled COVID-19 health testing solution works as a one-stop solution designed to oversee, administer, manage, and coordinate all of the complex testing elements in a centralized, tech-enabled manner for your organization.

Our full testing administration has been designed to make it easier for the employees or candidates you have on your testing program – with a simple process that includes guidance on online registration and scheduling. The automated solution is also built and designed keeping employers in mind, so that you can track and receive regular updates on test results. This can help you keep track of the health of all your stakeholders enlisted on the COVID-19 testing program. To this end we share and send active virus test results to both the employer and employee, once the analysis is conducted. We also supply you with aggregate test reporting to help inform and refine your testing strategy (for example: by geographic detail, program, etc.). All these insights, test results, and updates are available on an easy-to-navigate employer dashboard which can be accessed as per your convenience.

Can employers track and evaluate the testing program online?
Can employers track and evaluate the testing program online?

3. Reliable: Leveraging Deep Industry Expertise

We understand that, when it comes to the health of your people, you will not compromise on quality of testing. Your need for a reliable and experienced testing partner has never been greater than it is in these uncertain times. Sterling’s deep expertise in background screening and identity services is built on the principle of trust and safety. We leverage this expertise and our reliable partnerships built over four decades to provide you access to the latest, high-quality COVID-19 testing solutions as they come to market. As you focus on your return-to-workplace plans, our robust and reliable COVID-19 testing suite can give you peace of mind all along the way.

Sterling remains committed to delivering our mission of supporting clients by providing foundations of trust and safety. This was reiterated by Peter Lehmann, Chief Strategy Officer at Sterling, in a recent interview where he stated, “In their return to workplace, employers are faced with uncertainty and rare circumstances for which there is little precedent. For every company, their return-to-work health testing program needs to be properly defined, managed, and tailored for their unique circumstances. With our flexible end-to-end COVID-19 health testing services, Sterling is lifting that burden off our clients’ shoulders so that they can focus on creating trust and safety in their workplace.”

Is Sterling's suite of COVID-19 testing solutions safe and reliable?
Is Sterling's suite of COVID-19 testing solutions safe and reliable?

What’s in Our Suite of COVID-19 Testing Services:

1. Active Virus (PCR) Testing

In these uncertain times, safety and trust are some of the primary pillars you want to uphold in your workplace. By staying informed whether employees have the active SARS-CoV-2 virus and thereby may pose risk of infecting others, your company can advocate and foster workplace safety. Our convenient at-home saliva testing solution can help alleviate concerns and potentially form the key to your return to workplace program.

Our suite of testing solutions includes an at-home COVID-19 saliva-based test. This is just one of the options available, but it is emerging as a preferred choice for our clients as it is convenient, non-invasive, and easy for their employees to distribute, administer, and ship back for results. This saliva-based testing kit can be sent to homes, offices, or other locations of your selected stakeholders. It’s convenient administration also makes it possible to be made available for anyone, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic. The kit is sealed with instructions and is performed under the direct observation of a health professional via video conference. All the three simple steps are observed by the testing administrator during a scheduled video conference. During the online meeting, the employee/candidate:

  • Deposits a saliva sample in the provided test-tube
  • Seals the tube
  • Places the tube in the return packaging

Once this is completed to the administrator’s satisfaction, the oral fluid sample is then shipped to the laboratory via FedEX or UPS, as indicated on the return-label provided with the kit. The quick overnight shipping (all supplies included) facilitates faster turnaround time with results typically provided within 1 to 3 business days.

2. Additional On-Site Testing

On-site health services such as temperature checks and wellness questionnaires can be used in combination with active virus and antibody testing. However, it is important to note the guidance issued by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that antibody test results should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace, and such use may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While anti-body testing results should not be used to make decisions on employees returning to the workplace, some of our clients find that offering this test as a benefit to employees helps alleviate fears and uncertainty around having contracted the virus previously.

3. The Advantage of Bulk Saliva Testing

Sterling oversees, administers, and coordinates all of the various components comprising our suite of COVID-19 health testing solutions. The convenience of the saliva testing, our most popular testing solution is illustrated below:

  • We work with you to arrive at a testing strategy that defines your needs
  • We activate our program upon receiving your individual or bulk testing requests
  • We requisition tests with our panel of vetted, industry-leading lab partners
  • We send the employee(s) an invitation to take the test
  • The employee registers, provides consent, and requests the test using the ‘Sterling Employee Hub’
  • The employee receives the test kit and follows simple instructions that are observed on video by a medical administrator
  • The employee mails the test kit back in prepaid envelope for overnight shipping
  • Our industry-leading lab partner receives the sample and conducts analysis for the SARS-CoV-2 virus
  • Sterling then shares the test results with the employee and the employer once the analysis is conducted, depending upon account configuration
  • A key differentiator is the aggregate reporting we provide to the employer which includes both testing status and test results
  • The employer uses the aggregated report to effectively inform and refine their testing strategy

Workflow illustrating Sterling’s COVID-19 saliva testing process for bulk ordering

Partnering for Workplace Safety with Robust COVID-19 Testing:

As a leader in background and identity services, Sterling’s COVID-19 health testing program can be tailored to fit the specific needs of an employer. We have leveraged our long-standing partner relationships to provide access to the latest, high-quality COVID-19 testing solutions as they evolve and come to market.

In addition, our built-in compliance enabled tools afford a focus on making compliance processes simpler, including required federal and state processes. In these uncertain times, employers across US are trying to safely operate and still stay in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. To this end, our compliance experts provide regular updates to support your return to workplace program. In a recent blog, we broke down how the guidance and updates from US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on COVID-19 testing can impact your workplace. Such insights provide key guidance to companies that value compliance with federal equal employment and other laws.

We understand the challenges companies across US are facing in these unprecedented times. Sterling uniquely offers tailored programs and services designed to fit your specific business needs and requirements with a centralized, tech-enabled solution to administer and manage your testing program with ease. Our distinctive long-standing relationships with industry-leading lab partners affords access to current, high-quality COVID-19 testing solutions as they come to market, supported by broad program coverage across your workplace. Read more about our suite of COVID-19 testing services, where you can also reach out to us with any questions related to our distinctive testing program solution.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.