Communicating Positive Results

Written By CDL Rapid Screening Consortium (Super Administrator)

Updated at April 30th, 2021

Once the Results Manager has received the screen results and recorded the information, they should immediately inform the employee of the results. This is especially important for positive results. 

1. Retrieve employee contact information from the program central database. Initially contact the participant through a phone call and then follow up with an email. See information below to include in the communications. 

2. Phone call:

  • Initial communication of a positive screen result should be through a phone call as this is a better experience for participants and gives them the opportunity to ask any questions.
  • Phone calls should be made by the Results Manager using either a company phone or personal. If using a personal phone ensure that the phone number is blocked for privacy.
  • If the participant doesn’t answer the phone, leave a message requesting the participant call the Results Manager back. Do not leave a message with the positive results.
  • To maintain confidentiality, calls must be placed from a private area where others cannot overhear the call. 

3. Items to include in the email communications are listed below.

  • Name of employee
  • Date of birth of employee
  • Type of test - Antigen screening test for COVID-19
  • Time and date of the screen
  • Result of the screen
  • Reminder to continue to physically distance, use a mask, and use proper hand hygiene practices.
  • If applicable, remind participant that they will continue to be paid during the time that they are self-isolating. 
  • If an organization doesn’t provide paid sick leave remind them that the Canadian federal government has provided the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) for employees to receive $450 after taxes per week, for up to two weeks. CRSB gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting Covid-19. Canadians that contact Covid-19 when traveling outside the country are not eligible for CRSB.

4. Next Steps 

  • Employee to immediately collect their belongings and leave the workplace, ensuring they continue to physically distance, wear a mask, and practice proper hand hygiene. They should wipe down their desk before they leave.
  • As soon as they have left the workplace the employee should advise their manager of the positive result who in turn will advise HR and the Covid-19 response team to ensure a full cleaning is done as well as workplace contact tracing
  • Employee to go straight home to begin self-isolating, and not make any stops on the way. If they took public transit to work, if possible they should take a taxi or be driven home by a friend or family member using all precautions possible.
  • Human Resources will contact the employee to ask questions regarding workplace contact tracing and to advise any close contacts that they are required to leave the workplace and isolate.
  • Employee to arrange for a PCR test with their local COVID-19 assessment centre within 24 hours of the positive screen. See FAQ section below for more information about booking a PCR test. 
  • Employee should take all precautions possible to avoid contact with anyone they live with. 
  • Employee to notify all their close contacts so that they isolate as well.

5. Positive PCR result - Once employee receives a positive PCR test result they are to do the following:

  • Continue to follow the requirements of public health authorities: 
    1. Isolate for a minimum of 14-days from positive antigen test date
    2. fever, shortness of breath and chest pain have been gone for at least 3 days with no medication
    3. all other symptoms are improving before the employee can return to work, or such other requirements as may be recommended by applicable local public health authorities at the relevant time.
  • Notify your organization's Medical team (or designated person on the Rapid Screening Program) that they have tested positive in a PCR test.
  • Public Health will perform contact tracing for personal contacts.
  • Close contacts of the employee to get PCR tested.

6. Negative PCR result - If employee receives a negative PCR test result, they are to do the following:

  • If they have any symptoms they should continue to follow Public Health requirements:
    1. Isolate for a minimum of 14-days from positive antigen test date
    2. fever, shortness of breath and chest pain have been gone for at least 3 days with no medication
    3. all other symptoms are improving before the employee can return to work, or such other requirements as may be recommended by applicable local public health authorities at the relevant time.
  • Notify their Rapid Screening team that they have tested negative in a PCR test. Rapid Screening team will record this information in the data collection system that is sent to CDL RSC weekly.
  • If they don’t have any symptoms, they should have another PCR test done within 48 hours. If that test also comes back negative, then they can return to the workplace. They should notify their manager or HR contact that they have received two negative PCR test results.
    1. Note: This may be an organization-specific decision. For example, in Ontario, one PCR negative is sufficient to exclude a case as “Does Not Meet Definition”.

7. FAQ

  • Who is a Close Contact?
    1. Anyone that the employee is living with or providing care for 
    2. Anyone that is within about 6 feet/2 meters for a prolonged (>15 minutes) period of time. The definition of close contact does not change unless full PPE (mask, safety glasses, shield, gown, gloves) is worn. 
    3. Barriers, such as plexiglass or masks, are used as a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of spread of the virus.  Even with the use of barriers, the risk of infection for individuals who are within close contact for a prolonged (>15 minutes) period of time still exists because of airborne transmission. And these contacts should self-isolate for 14-days.
  • Where do I get a COVID-19 PCR test?
  • Can I return to the screening program after I have a positive PCR test?
    • You should definitely return to the screening program if you test positive in a PCR test. Once you are symptom free and able to return to work after the two week mandatory quarantine then it is recommended to return to the screening program. After two weeks an antigen screen shouldn't indicate a positive result as you are no longer infectious and this is also the case for "long haulers". If you screen positive on an antigen test after this period this could indicate a new infection.

8. In addition, a template email is attached here. Modify the template for your organization and save a copy to the Results Managers folder for reference if needed.

Other Steps to Take After a Positive Result

If someone screens positive in a rapid antigen test through workplace, the organization conducting the test may be required to report the positive test result under applicable law. Refer to the Regulatory Requirements section for provincial requirements regarding reporting presumptive positives.

The organization should be prepared to cooperate with their local public health unit in the event of a potential workplace exposure of COVID-19 or an outbreak investigation. Facilities team should be contacted immediately after the organization is notified of a positive result so that appropriate cleaning of workstations and the Screening Station can be conducted. Facilities contact information should be placed at the Results Manager's desk and remain there for the duration of the pilot.

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