Industry Insights

The Safety of Drug Testing Collection Sites Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant changes to businesses and daily life across the country. As states begin phasing into reopening plans, employers are implementing a number of safety measures to enhance procedures in the workplace and ensure that others feel safer entering the building. Employers who utilize employment screening services have been apprehensive about sending employees to collection sites due to the risk of being exposed to COVID-19, but just like other businesses, collection sites have implemented safety procedures.  

What Changes Have Been Made?

Despite the common misconception, collection sites are a safe place to send your employees during this time. The collection site industry as a whole has implemented new procedures out of an abundance of caution to ensure a safer environment. We’ve chosen three industry leaders to highlight how they are handling this challenge, while also operating thousands of sites combined throughout North America during this global pandemic.

Covid19 Waiting Room
Quest Diagnostics

Our trusted collection site partner, Quest Diagnostics, understands the importance of good hygiene and social distancing practices as they continue to operate their facilities nationwide. With over 2000 locations, Quest Diagnostics has implemented rigorous safety procedures to protect donors and employees from coming into contact with the coronavirus. As a result, daily cleaning routines have increased, including frequent disinfecting of all surfaces, use of hand sanitizer, and more frequent hand washing. No COVID-19 testing takes place at the facilities, and individuals seeking COVID-19 testing are being asked not to enter. Additionally, the first hour of every day is reserved for the most vulnerable individuals: those who are 60 years of age or older or have other conditions that put them at greater risk for COVID-19.

Concentra

As another DISA trusted collection site partner and industry leader, Concentra has also taken steps to mitigate risks of COVID-19 exposure and to ensure employers that their facilities are safe for donors. Concentra has implemented the following safety protocols and procedures across their facilities:

  • Signage posted on the front doors of each facility asking donors with COVID-19 symptoms to return to their vehicles and call for screening questions
  • All donors are required to wear a mask while inside the building
  • All Concentra staff are required to wear appropriate PPE at all times
  • COVID-19 testing is not offered for the general public, only for Return-to-Work testing
DISA Global Solutions

DISA Global Solutions-owned collection sites have also implemented new safety measures and have spent significant time and effort reworking collection site processes to further protect customers and employees.

DISA service centers:

  • Have enhanced cleaning procedures
  • Require an initial risk survey when donors enter the facility
  • Minimize overcrowded waiting rooms
  • Allow donors to wait in their car
  • Do NOT test for COVID-19

Should I Continue Drug Testing?

Drug Free Workplace

Historically, national crises in the past have led to increased substance abuse, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re already seeing similar statistics. Although it’s understandable that employers are concerned about exposing their employees to the coronavirus, it’s important now more than ever to continue implementing drug testing practices.

During stressful times like these, people tend to rely on self-medicating to relieve them of their anxiety, stress, fear, and depression. With the opioid crisis and legalization of marijuana across states, substance abuse was already problematic prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. When addressing drug testing positivity rates, DISA found that marijuana specifically went up 21% in April 2020 vs. April 2019 and saw a staggering 37.8% increase in positivity rate when comparing May 2020 to May 2019. As lockdown orders are lifted, and employees begin re-entering the workforce, employers need to utilize drug testing practices such as pre-employment testing, random testing, and reasonable suspicion training and testing.

How Can DISA Help?

As your trusted third-party administrator (TPA), both DISA-owned and partner collection sites have implemented safety standards and protocols to further enhance your employee’s safety while visiting the establishment. A clear and concise drug testing program will better protect your company, as well as your employees. Our professionals can assist you in meeting and maintaining compliance with drug testing regulations, laws, and methodologies. If you would like to learn more about DISA’s employment screening services, please contact our sales group at 281-673-2530 or email Sales@Disa.com.

Are you an employer and still have questions regarding employment screening?

DISA can help! Get answers directly from DISA’s subject matter experts with ‘Ask DISA’.

Visit www.askdisa.com to ask your questions today

About DISA Global Solutions

Founded in 1987, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 35 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, DISA’s comprehensive scope of services includes drug and alcohol testing, background screening, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA assists employers in making informed staffing decisions while building a culture of safety in their workplace.