Are OTC Test Kits like AccessBio’s OnGo and the Quidel QuickVue Appropriate for Employee Testing?

Sep 29, 2021

President Biden recently directed all US employers with more than 100 employees to provide weekly, no-cost COVID testing for all unvaccinated employees. 

The cost of implementing a weekly testing program ranges from $25 to $85 per test, leaving many employers scrambling to find options near that lower-end price point.

The lowest-cost COVID tests come without service and are known as Over-the-Counter (OTC) COVID tests. OTC COVID test options include: 

  • Abbott BinaxNOW (which we found to be the worst-performing COVID test on the market)
  • Quidel ClearVue
  • Ellume Rapid Antigen test (also poor performing)
  • CareStart OnGo by AccessBio 

Using these OTC options for recurring employee testing is not a stable solution because of supply issues among literally every manufacturer. As I write this there are only three stores with an OTC test for sale, and every retailer limits purchase quantities to a maximum of six kits per customer.

Another issue with using an OTC test is lack of evidence that the person submitting results was actually the person tested. Without the ability to validate a result, employers are implementing a testing policy for a life-or-death virus based on the honor system. If an outbreak occurs, this kind of policy is not defensible as a best practice. 

An Affordable Employee Testing Solution:

On-site testing conducted by an in-person healthcare worker is and will remain the industry standard for a best-practice employee testing strategy. With a professional conducting testing there will be no issue with the quality of the samples collected, interpretation of the test results, comfort of employees in knowing their test is accurate and professional. Plus, all results are lab-validated. 

In-person employee COVID testing conducted by healthcare workers is expensive, ranging from $45 to $85 per test. This varies depending on the number of tests administered per visit and other details like location and duration of a test event.

The sweet spot for employee COVID testing is what’s called Live Video Proctor Testing.

Live Video Proctor Testing provides lab-validated results, ensures samples are properly corrected and results are accurately interpreted, and allows for greater efficiency by testing groups of employees on a single video call. Results get entered into a dashboard that the employer can access to manage testing data. Meanwhile, employees access an app where their results are stored and available as a passport to enter the workplace and even for events outside of work.

This Live Video Proctor Testing costs just $35 to $55 per test, but that’s not the biggest economic difference. It is the fact that employees are able to get tested without losing productivity from waiting in line. What’s more: No one from your organization has to host/organize an on-site event, chase employees for their self-test results, or organize all that data.

Streamline Your Corporate Testing Program

To learn more about this best-in-class solution for employee COVID testing, contact us at or 858.459.0785.

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