COVID-19 Environmental Testing
As part of our bespoke laboratory service offering, we are now able to test for COVID-19 in the indoor environment. This swab testing, used to confirm the presence of the SARS CoV-2 virus, can be carried out on any hard, non-porous surface.
Why test? Through regularly testing high traffic areas or touchpoints within a property (e.g. door handles, toilet facilities) you can reassure your employees and customers alike. Testing can be carried out following a deep clean or other decontamination method to provide reassurance regarding the efficacy of the works.
How do we do it? It starts with a cotton bud swab sample taken by the client from a suspected contaminated or previously cleaned hard, non-porous surface. This is sent to the DF&A laboratory where a scientist deactivates any live virus material in it in a microbiological safety cabinet (making it safe to work with). They then prepare it for RNA extraction – this occurs either manually or in an automated machine. Once the RNA genome of the virus is extracted, the scientist prepares it for reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) testing. PCR testing detects the RNA genome of COVID-19 and copies it into DNA. It then multiplies and measures that DNA – indicating the amount of virus RNA present in the original sample. A report is prepared by the scientist monitoring in real time.
How long will it take? Typical turnaround is 72 hours from receipt of samples. An express 24-hour service is also available at an additional charge.
Costs and further advice. For advice on an appropriate bespoke testing regime, and a schedule of rates, please call 0800 876 6626, where one of our laboratory team can discuss your requirements in further detail.
COVID-19 and Sewage
COVID-19 is beginning to have an impact on flooding and EOW claims related to sewage or foul water. This is only likely to increase as research and media attention grows. Studies have shown that SARS-CoV2 viral RNA fragments can be detected in the faecal matter of coronavirus patients. Claimants may now need additional reassurance regarding the efficacy of decontamination and sanitisation works, and the safety of their property. DF&A have already received multiple requests of this nature on sewage related claims. If you have any claims of this nature, DF&A can provide the right advice and solutions from the outset.
Our COVID-19 Expertise
At the outset of the pandemic, DF&A quickly reacted to repurpose our existing industry leading DNA technology to carry out accurate and efficient testing for the SARS CoV-2 virus. We were the second lab to join the COVID-19 Volunteer Testing Network. This is a philanthropic initiative established to supplement government testing efforts, with local laboratories donating time and resource to provide testing for local health care providers. Between April and July 2020, DF&A provided several GP practices and care service providers with routine COVID-19 testing for their staff at the peak of the outbreak. Below are some testimonials of the work we carried out:
‘We are extremely fortunate to have had the benefit of reliable and accurate screening at an enormously challenging and uncertain time. The rapid processing of tests has enabled me to reassure my staff. We will be forever in your debt’
‘The service provided has been very professional and efficient, with timely collection of swabs and results returned within 24 hours. In addition, advice has been on hand whenever it has been needed. The service has been very much appreciated.’
‘I would welcome the opportunity to thank you and your amazing team for all your hard work in processing our test results. The facility that your company has provided has proved a literal lifeline. Who knows how many lives may have been saved as a result of having access to this early help?’
‘We have found this service to have been instrumental in keeping our business operational as we have been able to arrange tests for our team and receive results often the same day’
‘It has had a massive impact on staff morale. Knowing we have a local reliable testing facility has provided great comfort and re-assurance to our team. It is knowing that “someone is helping look after ourselves”.
Carrying Out Our Services
COVID-19 has presented our industry with a unique set of challenges. We believe that now, more than ever, property claims require robust, practical and technical solutions with an independent voice to deliver this advice. Be reassured that Davis French & Associates will continue to:
Attend new instructions nationally
Assess and mitigate risks to both property occupants and our staff when attending site i.e. appropriate PPE, social distancing
Implement safety protocols pertinent to each new instruction
Provide specialist expert advice for any residential or commercial property claims scenario
Establish the cause, severity and extent of incident related damage, and provide you with a resolution.
Your co-operation when instructing us, to help us understand circumstances on site, is much appreciated.