Rapid antigen testing information for industry

Industry implementation of rapid antigen onsite screening for workplaces

Rapid antigen tests (RAT) are being used in many industries as a workplace surveillance tool to screen people who do not have symptoms for COVID-19. This needs to be used in conjunction with other risk mitigation strategies and business continuity plans for COVID-19. By using RAT in this way, workplaces may detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and prevent exposure in the workplace.

Employers, industries, schools and government agencies implement RAT screening at workplaces under the supervision of a health practitioner. A third-party provider can be engaged to manage this process.

RAT use for surveillance of workers is an effective tool when there is COVID-19 in the community, as there is a chance of detecting individuals who have COVID-19 and are not symptomatic before there is widespread workplace exposure. This can help preserve business continuity. It is as an extra step for protection of staff as these asymptomatic people would not otherwise be presenting for testing for COVID-19.

How do workplaces implement RAT screening?

Approval to undertake workplace RAT screening is not required, however businesses conducting RAT screening are asked to continue to:

  • Adhere to standard operating protocols and checklists.
  • Use acceptable RAT kits
  • Report all results (including positive, negative and invalid) either through existing reporting processes previously approved or by completing the online reporting form.

Workplaces should also:

  • Review the Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures as well as the TGA published guidance and checklist.
  • Complete the online Workplace RAT Screening Registration Form and upload any relevant documents.
  • You will receive a receipt once you have submitted your request.
  • Once you have registered for RAT screening, it is your responsibility to implement the RAT screening program in accordance with the above.

Information for industry on the implementation of rapid antigen screening onsite at the workplace includes the Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) published guidance and checklist for business implementation of rapid antigen testing.

For enquiries relating to workplace RAT screening contact Health.COVIDRapidAntigenTests@sa.gov.au.

For more information on the TGA guidance contact COVIDtests@tga.gov.au or call 1800 141 144.

Specific information for healthcare settings

Healthcare settings may use their own protocols for rapid antigen testing, or the protocols as laid out in the SA Health Guidelines for the Provision of Rapid Antigen Screening (PDF 780KB). Each site is responsible for procuring their own supply of rapid antigen test kits.

It is requested that each workplace reports their full rapid antigen results to SA Health as soon as possible after they are collected via the online Rapid Antigen Test Reporting Form. Any positive results must be reported in this way immediately, and the individual must immediately present to their nearest testing site for a diagnostic PCR test. CDCB do not require the reporting of positive results directly. Once you have registered for the RAT screening, it is your responsibility to implement the program in accordance with this advice.

What rapid antigen test kits can be used?

Devices that have not been approved by the TGA cannot be used in Australia. The TGA website includes a list of all registered rapid antigen test kits.

The TGA outlines its regulations around the sale of rapid antigen test kits and conditions of supply. The TGA website publishes frequently asked questions about the supply of rapid antigen tests, which should be reviewed before proceeding with rapid antigen testing.

SA Health can provide advice on which of the TGA approved rapid antigen tests are preferred for use in South Australia for workplace testing. Businesses that have already procured rapid antigen testing kits for use will need to provide the name of the kit as part of their approval for rapid antigen testing to ensure that it complies with the minimum standards for South Australia.

Who covers the cost of rapid antigen testing?

Rapid antigen testing can be used as a screening tool that many businesses are already using to support business continuity.

Businesses will be responsible for procuring their own test kits, in line with the TGA requirements and where applicable, are expected to cover the cost of implementing testing on site at workplaces.

Rapid antigen testing for surveillance is not covered under the Commonwealth’s Medicare Benefits Scheme.

Reporting of results

SA Health requests reporting of all rapid antigen test results, by completing the online form.

Understanding the results

Visit the Rapid antigen testing page for information on understanding your result and what to do following your test.