WorkWell starts to offer new COVID-19 home test
Screenings sent to lab in Midwest for analysisJune 18th, 2020
WorkWell Consultants LLC, of Spokane, has begun offering a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved COVID-19 at-home test for employers and individuals.
WorkWell helped develop the test in conjunction with Lees Summit, Missouri-based CoreMedica Laboratories Inc.
Kathy Worden, who co-founded WorkWell with Dr. Stefan Humphries, says the FDA informed the company of the new test’s approval on Friday, June 12, at 5 p.m.
“That’s a big deal from a validation standpoint,” Humphries says. “There are so many tests out there claiming they can detect COVID that the public is skeptical.”
Humphries called it a simple test that relies on “nothing more” than a pinprick of the finger and small blood collection.
“If you suspect you have COVID, the goal is for you to be able to maintain self-isolation without exposing a health care provider or them potentially exposing you,” Humphries says.
The test, which costs $135 and can be purchased on WorkWell’s website, can show results between 24 to 48 hours upon receipt by CoreMedica, he says.
The test was first submitted to the FDA for approval by CoreMedica roughly two months ago, he says.
Humphries says the test may be especially helpful for tracking the spread of the virus and can identify asymptomatic carriers.
“The screening test is primarily used to detect exposure to the virus in the recent past by measuring the immune response linked to the infection,” meaning the test measures levels of two specific blood proteins, or antibodies, Humphries says.
High levels of one antibody indicates a longer-term exposure and is considered by many to be an indicator of immunity. High levels of the other tends to indicate recent exposure and may help confirm COVID-19 in patients showing symptoms, he says.
Founded in 2009, WorkWell has operated with the goal of working with other businesses to help them provide timely medical information to employees via blood screenings.
Through the years, WorkWell has conducted lab screenings and facilitated health-education programs for several Inland Northwest employers, including Idaho Forest Group LLC, Inland Imaging, Silverwood Theme Park, Spokane Teachers Credit Union, and Washington Trust Bank.
WorkWell has about two-dozen employees in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.
In an interview last fall, Humphries and fellow cofounder, Kathy Worden, told the Journal the company began moving to broaden its focus to the overall community.
WorkWell says it has screened more than 200,000 people throughout the Pacific Northwest over the last decade.
The company just moved its headquarters to the Liberty Building at, 203 N. Washington downtown, across from the Lincoln Building, at 818 W. Riverside.