Rapid Antigen Testing In The Workplace: Everything You Need To Know

Rapid Antigen Tests are a great way to keep your team safe – and they are now officially available for private use across New Zealand, making access easier than ever for business owners.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)?

A Rapid Antigen Test is a fast and simple test that can indicate if someone is likely to have COVID-19. While some Rapid Antigen Tests need to be overseen by a health professional, others can be conducted at home, at the workplace or in private.

What are the benefits of Rapid Antigen Tests? And why should I consider using them in my business?

Rapid Antigen Tests are recommended for keeping your team as safe as possible during their return to the office.

  • They are easy and safe to use.
  • They are a relatively low-cost solution to minimising the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • Results are returned within minutes.
  • Frequent Rapid Antigen Testing (2-3 times per week) can identify COVID-19 infections in people who might be asymptomatic at the time, preventing mass outbreaks in the workplace.
  • They minimise the amount of time you and/or your team spend away from the business, seeking out precautionary standard PCR tests.
  • With a vast number of Australians feeling nervous and/or anxious amidst their return to work due to the current COVID-19 climate, providing Rapid Antigen Test access to employees may boost employee confidence in returning to the office.

It’s also important to note that while Rapid Antigen Tests are a reliable way of monitoring and protecting your business against COVID-19, they should not replace other safety measures such as hand sanitisers, masks and social distancing. If you are considering introducing a Rapid Antigen Testing program into your business, we’d recommend considering how it will fit into your overall COVID-19 management plan.

What is the difference between a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) and a PCR?

While Rapid Antigen Tests can be trusted to detect most cases of COVID-19, they are not as accurate as the standard PCR test.

Research has shown that Rapid Antigen Tests are most reliable when used by someone who has symptoms of COVID-19, meaning asymptomatic cases may proceed into the workplace undetected if they have been tested using a Rapid Antigen Test, rather than a PCR test.

However (as mentioned in the sections above), more frequent Rapid Antigen Testing (2-3 times per week) will increase the likelihood of COVID-19 being detected in someone who is positive, but asymptomatic at the time of testing.

For more information or to find out how you can implement a robust rapid antigen testing program at your workplace, get in touch today.