US Rapid Action Consortium Publishes COVID-19 Testing Playbook to Arm Businesses With Critical Workplace Strategies

Free Playbook Provides Rapid Antigen Testing Guidelines to Help Businesses Enable Employee Wellness as Omicron and Other Variants Surge

The US Rapid Action Consortium, a group of leading scientists, academics, and organizations that have come together to help companies navigate the complexities of implementing and operating COVID-19 testing programs at scale, announced the availability of its COVID-19 Rapid Screening Program Playbook.

In addition to being a global health and an economic crisis, COVID-19 is fundamentally an information problem. As with any complex information problem, the Rapid Action Consortium believes that the solution requires the intelligent use of data and technology and for the right parties to come together to create ecosystems of learning and impact.

Based on insights gathered from nearly 1.7 million tests by more than 1,800 participating companies, across more than 2,900 locations, the Playbook details best practices for businesses in establishing rapid antigen testing programs to enable safer workplaces and communities.

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“It is critical to catalyze the private sector as a force for good, bringing in the right parties to come together to collectively learn, innovate, and rapidly iterate to create impact,” said Darren Saumur, global operating officer, Genpact and co-chair of the U.S. Rapid Action Consortium. “The COVID-19 Rapid Screening Program Playbook is a manifestation of this collective effort. We know that companies need guidance now more than ever to facilitate return-to-office plans, maximize public and workplace safety, and provide a line of defense as new variants arise. We believe in paying it forward, using the insights gathered to create frameworks, real-time tools, and access to data and guidelines that enable businesses nationwide to act quickly and decisively.”

Leveraging the collective intelligence gleaned from rapid testing programs across a wide range of workplaces – from airlines and bakeries, to touring Broadway productions and iconic landmarks – the Consortium is making its best practices available to any public or private-sector organization that wants to use it. It is available to the public at no cost and is one of the various tools and resources the Consortium is developing.

“We’ve always been focused on providing a one-of-a-kind experience to our guests, and that focus took on a new sense of urgency during the pandemic,” said Ron Sevart, chief executive officer, SpaceNeedle. “We know first-hand that regular testing is critical to mitigating the spread of the virus. As a member of the Rapid Action Consortium, we’ve received invaluable guidance and insights that allowed us to set up a robust screening protocol quickly and effectively for our team members that would have otherwise taken us significantly more time and cost. Our testing program has identified 36 positive cases, many of which were asymptomatic individuals, interrupting the transmission of the virus to keep our iconic landmark safe for all.”

The Rapid Action Consortium Playbook is a step-by-step guide to launching, operating, and scaling a rapid antigen testing program. It includes an 11-step action plan for establishing protocols, information on assembling a core operating team, reporting test results, and more.

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“Omicron is the second-most contagious virus known to humankind, and the unprecedented breakthrough cases with this variant have made it clear that rapid testing is crucial to mitigating the spread,” said Dr. Steven Phillips, advisory committee member, U.S. Rapid Action Consortium and vice president, Science and Strategy, COVID Collaborative. “Strategic widespread testing can quickly identify asymptomatic cases, prevalent in this variant, and bring outbreaks crashing down in weeks. As community transmission increases, there are higher chances that the virus will mutate into more dangerous variants. The Consortium is an accelerating force in the fight against COVID-19 and is empowering organizations with the right tools and approaches to implement testing programs to keep our economy running and our communities safe.”

The U.S. Rapid Action Consortium is an expansion of a successful Canadian program, the Creative Destruction Lab Rapid Screening Consortium (CDL RSC), of which Genpact is a founding member. Genpact, the CDL RSC, and the COVID Collaborative are the founding members of the U.S. Consortium. Over the last 13 months, the U.S. Rapid Action Consortium and CDL RSC have collectively administered more than 1,690,000 tests across 2,951 locations. Regular testing has detected more than 3,000 confirmed positives and counting.

The Consortium is also developing a risk-assessment tool to help organizations leverage real-time data to determine the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in their workplaces. The tool will help determine the best approach to opening workplaces. It considers local and company COVID-19 data — such as infection and vaccination rates — to assign low, moderate, medium, or high-risk levels. Once an organization calculates its risk level, the tool provides a list of crucial protocols that will help maintain safety and reduce the risk of an outbreak.

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