ABS Testing

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The County initiated a COVID-19 testing plan that is being rolled out to ABS beginning on July 9, and at 2-week intervals until further notice. These self-administered saliva tests will be available at the office, warehouse and our 26 retail stores. The test detects active COVID-19 virus and does not identify antibodies. This effort will help identify employees that are asymptomatic and is designed to provide additional peace of mind for employees working onsite. Employees are not mandated to complete testing but are strongly encouraged to do so.  

WHEN WILL THE ABS TEAM BE TESTED?

Wholesale Operations & Office employees will first be tested on Thursday, July 9.  After that, testing will be every other Tuesday beginning July 28.

Retail employees will begin testing on Monday, July 13, and continue to test every other Monday.

ACTION REQUIRED PRIOR TO TESTING

Complete DHHS Consent, Privacy & HIPAA disclosures are required prior to FIRST test at: DHHS Consent Form .  DHHS will send a copy of the signed consent form to the email address entered.

Registration with AdvaGenix is required before EACH test. 1) Under insurance, select “other” and type Montgomery County Government. 2) Upon registration, your unique barcode will be emailed to you for scanning. You can also write the confirmation number down. Register here: AdvaGenix Registration  

ON THE DAY OF TESTING

  • For accurate testing, do not eat or drink for 30 minutes prior to taking the test.  To help during the testing, it is highly recommended that you are well hydrated.
  • For the initial test on July 9, Wholesale Operations & Office employees report to the Retail Training Room between 12:30 – 7:30, bringing your unique bar code. There will be assistance from the COVID-19 testing project team. Site Coordinators must check in for a quick overview on how to support testing going forward. 
  • For tests beginning Tuesday, July 28, Wholesale Operations employees will work through your designated Site Coordinator, and Office employees will self-administer in the Retail Training Room.
  • For Retail employees, check in with your Store Manager/Site Coordinator for all testing beginning on Monday, July 13.   

FAQ’s

  1. Is testing mandatory? No. Testing is strongly encouraged, noting that full participation is the most effective method of controlling the spread of the virus
  2. Will the employee’s department be notified upon results of either negative or positive?  No. Employee should follow OMS guidance and contact his or her direct supervisor/manager if the result is positive.
  3. Will County employees who are benefits eligible be required to provide insurance information?  Montgomery County benefits eligible employees should NOT submit any insurance information as part of this process.  In the insurance section of the registration process the employee should indicate “Montgomery County Government”. This includes employees that are eligible to participate in the County’s programs but have chosen not to because they have other coverage elsewhere or have declined coverage.
  4. Is there verification that DNA acquired from the test will not be analyzed or stored for other purposes? Yes. The County, having met with MCGEO, IAFF, and FOP, sought and received a contract amendment with the lab to clearly delineate testing limits which terms had not been explicitly stated. Samples will be maintained in accordance with governing regulations. Samples will only be used:
    • To determine a positive or negative test for Covid-19 and,
    • Possible determination of specific strains of the Covid-19 virus with the express affirmative consent of the employee.
  5. On the packaging of the collection kit, the language “Intended Use: For the collection and stabilization of RNA from human saliva samples.” is stated, why does it say this? The test is being performed under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA, which calls for/allows for the use of the collection method.
  6. Based on the specific definition, will there be any genetic testing, and will the contracted lab maintain the data for a specific period?  Samples will be maintained in accordance with governing regulations. Samples will only we used to determine a positive or negative test for Covid-19 and possible determination of specific strains of the Covid-19 virus.  Data will be stored in accordance with governing regulations.
  7. What are the actual security parameters around the “portal” including on the transmission end and the data storage end for employee information?  The portal is Certified HIPAA compliant.

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