On Thursday, diagnostic testing company Laboratory Corporation of America (LH -1.80%) launched a new service for businesses through which it will assess employees' health and test them for COVID-19 as part of a return-to-work process.
The service can be provided at the employer's site or at LabCorp facilities. The screening process involves the completion of a questionnaire and a non-invasive temperature check to identify individuals with possible COVID-19 symptoms. The employer can also authorize a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, the nasal swab test that reveals currently active cases of COVID-19. Test samples can be collected on-site by LabCorp staff, or the employee can be provided with an at-home collection kit.
LabCorp's service can also include a blood antibody test, which detects the presence of the IgG antibody to SARS-CoV-2, which reveals whether a person has been exposed to the coronavirus and has had an immune response -- whether their case was symptomatic or not. The company announced it would be using a new fingerstick antibody test based on the Euroimmune platform made by Perkin Elmer. The fingerstick, or dried blood spot, antibody test is a convenient testing method that was authorized by the FDA on May 5. The test can be performed at the employer's site, with results available in 2 to 4 days. Scientists don't yet know if a positive antibody test means that a person is immune to reinfection with COVID-19.
LabCorp was the first commercial testing lab in the U.S. to launch a COVID-19 PCR test in early March, and has been ramping up test production in order to meet the large unmet need for coronavirus testing as parts of the U.S. economy begin to reopen.