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GCAL Brings Doctor To Give Employees In-House COVID Testing August 19, 2020 (0 comments)


New York, NY—Finding a place to get a COVID-19 test can be a challenge, but employees of Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL) can get theirs at work. GCAL has contracted with a medical doctor in Manhattan to visit the lab every two weeks and administer the COVID-19 nasal swab test to all employees. GCAL employees also have the option to take the antibody blood test, which determines prior exposure to SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Test results for GCAL employees are returned in 48 hours.

Image: GCAL CEO Don Palmieri cringes while getting blood drawn for a COVID antibody test.

“Nothing is more important than the health and welfare of our GCAL colleagues and their families,” said Don Palmieri, president and founder of Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL). “All of us are required to take this test. It is our hope that by sharing this with the industry, other companies will consider doing the same.” To date, GCAL has reported 100% negative test results among employees.

“It is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for every GCAL team member, just as it is our intention to do whatever we can to keep all our families safe as well,” explained Angelo Palmieri, GCAL COO. “Since we have employees commuting from all five [New York City] boroughs, Long Island, and New Jersey, with our preference to have all our employees tested frequently we didn’t want to put anyone at unnecessary risk.”

Instead of asking employees to find a doctor's office, urgent care facility, et cetera and potentially stand in line for hours waiting for a test alongside others who might be infected, the in-office testing reduces employees’ exposure and minimizes the network of people they must interact with, he explained. 

Furthermore, with schools reopening in many communities around the country, and the contact networks of people expanding, testing and receiving quick results—experts suggest less than 72 hours is essential—it will be more important than ever to maintain a safe workplace and healthy workforce, said Angelo Palmieri.

The work GCAL and other testing and grading labs perform cannot be done remotely or virtually. In addition, GCAL’s extensive variety of certificate offerings requires more personnel to work on each diamond than at other traditional labs, Palmieri said.

Both tests are fully covered for GCAL employees under the company-paid insurance policy.

Dr. Michele Martinho, the physician administering the tests, also stresses the importance of getting flu vaccinations early, and of maintaining or even elevating everyone’s own immune systems through general good health practices, including a healthy diet and exercise. She stresses the critical importance of taking precautionary measures, focusing on specific mask effectiveness and social distancing, pointing the importance of keeping mouth, nose and eyes covered, using sunglasses or regular glasses to protect the eyes.

Any company or group in Manhattan who is interested in offering a testing program for employees can contact GCAL for more information at (212) 869-8985 or call Dr. Martinho directly at (212) 420-6460.

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