In developing an effective, sustainable protocol for COVID-19 monitoring and outbreak management, it isn’t enough for businesses to simply be responsive. As we’ve learned over the past year, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 vary widely in the types and severity of symptoms they exhibit. So it is often only when an employee begins exhibiting more advanced symptoms that a business is alerted to a potential case. Even then, most interventions launched at this point prove to be too little, too late.
For management teams willing to invest in effective outbreak management, this likely means testing the entire workforce for COVID-19. But even with the more affordable rapid tests kits, regular mass testing can still be an untenable economic burden on an already struggling business.
The problem here is a lack of insight into the health status, vulnerabilities, and needs of one’s workforce. With the right infrastructure and management protocols in place, it is possible to respond quickly, effectively, and affordably to COVID-19 outbreaks in your workforce.
Let’s take a look at one of our partners—Ever Gotesco, a Quezon City-based mall operator who, midway through last year, faced a potential COVID-19 outbreak within their largely-customer facing workforce.
In early July, as soon as Project Fort’s daily surveillance tools flagged a possible outbreak, our health officer was able to deploy a targeted testing protocol based on the health data we had been gathering since May 2020. Because we had insight into the daily health status of employees, as well as a means to identify more vulnerable employees (based on work arrangement, presence of comorbidities, etc.), we were able to narrow the scope of our testing needs. So instead of mass testing their 3,000 tenants and direct employees, we were able to bring the number of tests needed to 30.
This, in turn, brought testing related costs down by about 88.8 percent.
Even with the added cost of our health consultancy services, this represents savings of up to 76.6 percent.
Utilizing the management protocols developed by our health officer, Ever Gotesco was able to focus on the most vulnerable members of their workforce, and neutralize the outbreak before it happened, ensuring that their employees and their mall-going community were safe. This was only possible because they had already invested in the right health data gathering, monitoring, and analysis tools by partnering with Project Fort.