Our second shipment of Orient Gene rapid antigen tests has arrived!

Our second shipment of COVID-19 Rapid antigen tests landed in Auckland on the 23rd of February 2022.

The Orient Gene rapid antigen test has the following benefits:

  • Short test time: 15 minutes to get a final result.
  • Nasal: shallow swab, comfortable for the subject.
  • Effective against Alpha, Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19.
  • Approved by the TGA in Australia, the Ministry of Health in NZ, the FDA in America, and has a CE mark.
  • Demonstrated a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 97.25% in clinical trials, with an overall accuracy of 98.73%.

Indications that your company might have a drug problem

A lot of companies in safety-sensitive industries don’t do drug testing. If this is you, you should be!

Drug testing is an easy way to take your management headaches away: it helps cover your legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace, and you’ll often find that the most difficult employees actually have a drug problem affecting their performance.
These people can then be helped to change (if they want to change) or helped to find a different job (if they don’t want to change).

Does your company experience any of the following?

  • Repetitive staff absences with little or no explanation
  • Constant low-level machinery and vehicle damage
  • Instances of dishonesty and theft
  • Large variations in productivity from day-to-day with individual people, i.e. mood swings, erratic behaviour and forgetfulness
  • Tasks completed poorly or not at all
  • High levels of disciplinary actions undertaken
  • Sudden unexplained drops in performance
  • Particular individuals that pick fights, or are often irritable
  • These are common symptoms seen when someone is abusing drugs. If they’re erratic at work, they’re also unsafe at work.

If they get hurt in an accident, what is your legal liability in that case?

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Question: what other drugs are you seeing in the market?

The new oral fluid drug testing standard (AS/NZS 4760:2019) lists oxycodone as a drug to be tested for.
At this stage, it’s looking likely that this will be the case in the updated AS/NZS 4308 standard.

Addiction treatment centres and the drug courts are seeing an increase in the use of self-administered GHB. This is difficult to test for as the detection window is very short, and the most common tests cross-react with vitamin C.

We would like to know what drugs you are seeing in the marketplace, that need to be tested for? Send an email to support@sobercheck.co.nz to let us know.

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Shipping is an issue: order early, keep a stock of equipment on hand

Almost all drug testing equipment used in New Zealand is manufactured in China, so we are subject to the same shipping issues that almost every other industry is now facing.

Sea shipments are taking an extra month to arrive currently, and if a shipment is delayed it can take another 2 – 3 months to arrive.

Sober Check is upping our order levels to keep more drug testing equipment in New Zealand, but different products are affected differently

To make sure your business is safe:

  • Keep equipment in reserve yourself. If you usually order monthly, order two months’ worth in your next order.
    Next month, order your usual monthly amount again. Use the older equipment, and put the newer equipment in storage to be used next month.
    You’ll be operating with one month’s reserve, instead of having no reserve at all.
    If cashflow is an issue, build up the one month’s reserve slowly: over the next 4 months, order an additional 25%.
  • Place orders with plenty of time. If you have plenty of equipment in reserve, then this can be used for any jobs that come up suddenly. You can then place an order to top up the reserve equipment to where it should be, and there will be no urgency for this order – stress free!
  • Plan ahead. Take advantage of shipping issues as an opportunity to nail testing times, dates and numbers down in advance.
    If you provide drug testing services for other companies, work with your customers to plan out a testing schedule for the rest of the year. Often customers are happy to have this sorted upfront, rather than having to think about it every month!
    If you do drug testing in-house for your company, work out a tentative testing schedule for the year ahead. You can then work out how much equipment you need, and when you will need it by.

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Rapid Antigen Testing – Where To Buy?

About COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests

Rapid antigen testing is quick, easy and painless.

Workplaces can quickly test employees for COVID-19, with results within 10 minutes.

This offers a wealth of benefits in addition to standard PCR testing. This is due to the comfort and ease of rapid antigen testing versus the discomfort and time taken in PCR testing.
These tests are unquestionably becoming an effective tool in workplace safety, as part of New Zealand’s continual endeavours against COVID-19.

After undergoing a test in front of a qualified tester, results will come through within a few minutes. In the case of a negative result, the employee or test subject will continue work as usual. With a positive result, the employee can take immediate action by alerting the proper authorities and, above all, moving onto a PCR test.

Rapid antigen testing serves as another layer of protection on top of the current method of PCR testing. It also reduces testing discomfort and delays for all but those who test positive.

Buy COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests from Sober Check

Sober Check offers the CareStart COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test for all businesses who have a valid New Zealand Business Number, which provides access to the new and improved method of testing.
These tests have been Ministry of Health approved under notice 2021-GO5425, which falls under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Point-of-care Tests) Order 2021.

There aren’t many options for those looking to purchase tests on a scale to cover a whole workplace. However, for those looking to buy rapid antigen tests in NZ, look at Sober Check’s Pantonic CareStart tests. These come in packs of 20, perfectly suited to employers who are looking to quickly and easily test all employees of their business.

To buy rapid antigen tests in NZ, see below.

From Pharmacies for Domestic Travel

Rapid antigen tests are currently available from many pharmacies and medical centres. In addition, they are free for unvaccinated people travelling in New Zealand.
Contact your local pharmacy to see if they offer this service.

Pharmacies supervise these tests, which mean they are not practical for workplace testing.

PCR Tests for International Travel

Despite the advantages of rapid antigen testing, international travellers may still require a PCR test before flying. Find where you can get tested in NZ (narrow by location): https://covid19.govt.nz/testing-and-tracing/covid-19-testing/where-to-get-tested/#community-testing-centre-locations

Reader responses to: court case where confirmation testing wasn’t completed, 2021

We had an interesting response from a reader, regarding last the previous newsletter email (shared with permission, edited for clarity):

Thank you for your email, and very interesting case. Please note below my thoughts:

  1. The Commissioner in this case, in my opinion, has erred in the decision and the decision should be set aside.
  2. No empirical evidence was presented to suggest the donor had indeed consumed Cannabis, other than his admission. He may have purchased “oregano”.
  3. The onsite test is indicative only. Several other drugs can trigger a “not negative” result for the THC screen.
  4. Let’s assume the donor did indeed consume cannabis. There is no empirical evidence it had exceeded the cut-off (both onsite and confirmatory).
  5. Onsite at best works at +25% / -30% cut-off, more like +/- 50% cut off. This means the sample can be either not negative or negative between the range of 25 – 75 μg/L.

In my opinion, and if I was on the other side… this would have been a totally different decision.

Newsletter archive

This is an archive from the Sober Check newsletters, which are sent out every week.
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