Changning helps companies test employees

Yang Jian
District issues a hotline and test procedure details for firms who want to have workers who have newly arrived back in Shanghai tested for COVID-19.
Yang Jian
Changning helps companies test employees
Ti Gong

A doctor takes a throat swab sample from a passenger who had arrived on an international flight at the COVID-19 sample collection site in Changning District.

Changning District has released details of its nucleic acid tests procedure along with a hotline for local companies to arrange for employees newly returned to Shanghai to be screened for COVID-19.

All companies registered in Changning can apply for the tests through 24-hour hotline 52069595.

Results will be available within eight hours, the Changning District Health Commission said on Thursday.

The city has enhanced its coronavirus prevention and control measures concerning imported cases and asymptomatic patients, especially after Wuhan, China’s hardest-hit city, lifted its travel ban on Wednesday.

Local companies will cover the cost of tests for employees returning from key COVID-19 affected regions.

In Changning, sample collection and nucleic acid tests cost 320 yuan (US$45.3) per person, said Dr Ma Jun, president of Tongren Hospital, which is in charge of testing, along with the district’s center for disease control (CDC) and Shanghai Labway Clinical Laboratory Co.

After making an appointment through the hotline, a company can send employees to Changning’s specialized outdoor sample collection site in front of the Ji Hotel on Suining Road.

They can go there alone or in groups and are allowed to leave after a throat swab is taken, but must wear protective gear, the commission said.

The samples will be delivered to the Labway laboratory, which was previously responsible for 90 percent of the nucleic acid tests for inbound travelers on international flights at Hongqiao airport.

Changning helps companies test employees
Ti Gong

Workers at the outdoor sample collection site in Changning.

Changning helps companies test employees
Ti Gong

The sample collection site in Changning where companies can have their newly returned employees tested for COVID-19.

Emergency procedure

If a test is positive, the Changning CDC will send the person to the fever clinic of Tongren Hospital for further screening and epidemiological investigation. Their close contacts will also be tested or quarantined.

Ma said most companies can have the tests done on the same day they apply. The Labway laboratory said about 300 samples can be tested per day. If necessary, it can expand capacity to test up to 900 people a day.

“Changning has a large number of companies. Many of them said they hope to check the health condition of their employees before resuming operations,” said Ge Min, director with the commission.

The district’s commerce commission has been working closely with the health commission to ensure COVID-19 prevention for Changning-based companies, said Gu Yaojun, the commission’s director.

Tongren Hospital, Changning CDC and Labway have been working together in the past month to screen for imported COVID-19 cases at Hongqiao airport. They had found 16 cases through the nucleic acid test procedure, Ge said.

“As the downtown district with the largest number of expats, Changning has gained full experience of COVID-19 prevention and control,” Ge said. Such experience will be applied to ensure the safety of the newly returned employees for Changning companies, she added.

Other local districts have also issued details of specialized sites for local companies to arrange for their employees to be tested. 

Changning helps companies test employees
Ti Gong

A worker at an outdoor sample collection site in Changning for companies to arrange COVID-19 tests for their newly returned employees.

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