03/24/20

Drug Testing in the Time of COVID-19

A member posed the following question today, and it’s been echoed by several others, so we thought we’d share the guidance here.

QUESTION

Our testing site for drug testing in Indianapolis is currently closed until April 6, and we have new hires that need to be drug tested. What does ICI recommend we do? Being tested in a general clinic or urgent care facility doesn’t seem feasible with the number of patients they are seeing for the COVID-19 virus.

ANSWER

There are 2 options:

  1. Schedule a van to stop by your jobsite or office on or close to Day 1 for pre-employment urine testing. Call 765-482-2976 x 8103; or
  2. Use oral swabs.

Oral swabs offer an alternative to urine testing in a clinic. We provide 10-panel drug testing swabs in boxes/cartons of 20 or 25 swab kits at no charge to employers contributing to the ICISAT program through one or more of the Indiana Heavy and Highway agreements. We just need to know where and to whom to ship them. There are directions provided with each box of swabs, and George Sheraw (317) 634-7547 can run through the process with you, if it would be helpful.

The swabs can be used on-site and in about 10 minutes will tell the employer if the individual is negative or “non-negative.” “Non-negative” is a carefully chosen word that means while the swab appears to be positive, the final determination must be done with a 10-panel urine test at a clinic.

If one or more of your people get a “non-negative” result on their swab, then they must go to the local clinic to be urine tested to determine whether they are positive or not. The swabs pick up prescription medications, so it’s not uncommon for the swabs to look positive but in actuality end up being negative after a SAMHSA certified lab tests their urine.

One of the drawbacks to the swabs is they won’t change a employee’s card status, because they aren’t a urine test.

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