22 Dec Leading U.S. Companies Launch Workplace Virus Testing Alliance WE ACT: Workplace Employers Alliance for COVID-19 Testing
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Amazon, CVS Health, Thermo Fisher Scientific join forces to promote employer-based testing as part of a comprehensive COVID-19 testing strategy.
WASHINGTON, DC, December 22, 2020 – Several leading American employers announced the formation of a new alliance dedicated to promoting employer-based COVID-19 testing as part of a comprehensive testing strategy to protect the health and safety of employees, customers and the communities they call home. The coalition, named Workplace Employers Alliance for COVID-19 Testing (WE ACT), believes that employer-based testing programs are essential to keeping employees safe during the current public health emergency.
WE ACT aims to advance a comprehensive national testing strategy that includes clear guidance for the implementation of testing programs and results reporting; to ensure access to high-quality, FDA authorized COVID-19 tests for employers; and to serve as a resource for any employer who wishes to launch or expand an employer–based testing program. Initial members include Amazon, CVS Health and Thermo Fisher Scientific.
“We are coming together to make sure that our essential employees are able to come to work and be tested in an easy and efficient way,” said Michael Meehan, senior advisor to WE ACT. “Widespread and convenient testing, especially for those who are asymptomatic, is critical for controlling the pandemic, keeping the U.S. economy open and protecting America’s workforce,” he added.
While average testing result times have fallen since April, a recent survey conducted by researchers from Northeastern, Northwestern, Harvard and Rutgers Universities found that result times for COVID-19 tests are still too slow to support broad contact tracing. This issue has disproportionately impacted Black and Hispanic Americans. WE ACT and its partners believe that, with effective and appropriate policies, employer-based testing could be further expanded across all demographic groups.
In order to achieve President-elect Joe Biden’s goal of establishing regular and reliable testing, considerable investment is needed to expand capacity. WE ACT and its partners believe that employers can play a central role in achieving that goal, while keeping businesses open and getting more Americans back to work.
“Amazon is proud to be a part of this new coalition,” said Amazon VP of Public Policy Brian Huseman. “We have worked diligently to expand our testing program over the last several months, and we’re eager for WE ACT to serve as a resource for others looking to launch and expand COVID-19 testing programs.”
As a nonpartisan coalition, WE ACT and its partners believe that combating the COVID-19 pandemic requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. “This collaboration makes employers active participants in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Mark Stevenson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific. “We must prioritize workplace safety during this public health emergency. Testing is a critical component of the solution as the federal government formulates a national vaccine deployment strategy.”
“The time to act is now. We have significant experience collaborating with employers in multiple industries to implement a comprehensive testing strategy to help protect the safety of their employees and the people they serve every day,” said Sree Chaguturu, M.D., senior vice president and CVS Caremark chief medical officer, CVS Health. “We will support the incoming Administration with our broad COVID-19 experience and learnings in ramping up a full-fledged national testing program, including potentially through our Return Ready testing solution for employers.”
WE ACT includes leading employers in the United States. For a full list of the members of WE ACT, and to learn more about the alliance’s work, please visit weactalliance.org.
About WE ACT
Members of WE ACT, which includes America’s leading employers and job creators, support meaningful solutions to promote employer-based testing. We will serve as a resource for public officials working to protect their communities and for employers and businesses aiming to launch and expand employer-based testing programs. WE ACT is represented by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. To learn more, please visit weactalliance.org.
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