- 28% of facilities surveyed by Arizona State University that were not testing workers for coronavirus cited cost as the main reason why.
- Smaller companies were more likely to cite cost for lack of testing, while larger companies said testing on a large scale was a prohibiting factor.
- PCR tests are the most accurate, but they require laboratory processing and can cost over $US100 to process, according to The New York Times.
- Most companies do not have widespread testing procedures in place, even as cases rise.
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As coronavirus cases rise across the country, employers are reluctant to provide coronavirus tests because of the price, not availability, according to results from a survey conducted by Arizona State University and World Economic Forum.
28% of the facilities that were not testing at all cited cost as the main reason why. The second most-cited reason for not testing was the complexity associated with the process, at 22%.
There is also a higher associated cost with higher testing accuracy. PCR tests are considered the most accurate, but require laboratory processing that can cost around $US100, according to The New York Times.
1,141 facilities at 1,125 companies worldwide were a part of the survey, which ran from September through October. The results are from 29 countries spanning 23 industries.
It’s worth noting that cost was the most-cited testing obstacle with smaller companies. Larger companies were more likely to cite the hurdles of testing en masse for their lack of testing, with 33% of large companies giving that reason.
The more employees a company has, the more likely they are to test, according to the study. Of the companies surveyed, only 8% of companies with 25 employees or less were testing, while companies with 5,000 workers or more were testing around 60% of the time.
One of the biggest discrepancies between how the US and international companies were handling testing came in the form of contact tracing. In the US, only 37% of companies surveyed were conducting any sort of contact tracing, while overseas, that number was over half.
“A number of countries outside the United States have national contact-tracing systems, apps that are highly recommended or in some countries required for all adults to download,” Mara Aspinall, a professor at Arizona State’s College of Health Solutions who helped oversee the study, told The New York Times. “Clearly that isn’t the case here.”
Only a few companies, including Kroger, have rolled out widespread coronavirus testing procedures.