CDC Recommends Truckers For Phase 1C of COVID-19 Vaccinations

COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines are currently being given to Phase 1A, frontline health care workers and residents and staff at long-term care facilities.

On December 20, 2020, the CDC recommended that people age 75 and older and “frontline essential workers,” such as emergency responders, teachers, manufacturing workers, and grocery store employees, be included in the next wave, Phase 1B.

Phase 1C will then include truck drivers, people 65-74 years old, those between 16 and 64 with high-risk medical conditions, and “other essential workers” such as transportation and logistics workers, food service workers, and more.

However, states have the final say on how vaccines are distributed.

For instance, Arkansas put truck drivers in Phase 1B ahead of adults 65 years and older and adults of any age with chronic health conditions while Alabama put long-distance truck drivers in the fourth phase, along with groups such as office workers who do not have frequent close contact with coworkers, customers, or the public.

 

When will truckers receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

As with any large scale manufacturing, distribution, and inoculation plans, this is a moving target and will depend on your state.

Currently, there is not enough vaccine available for people in Phase 1B and 1C.

According to U.S. projections, December should have had 20 million vaccines for people, 30 million in January, and 50 million in February.

It is estimated that Phases 1A and 1B will include around 73 million people and Phase 1C will add another 129 million people.

Additionally, even if there are vaccines available at clinics, the roll-out of actually getting people vaccinated has been much slower than predicted.

Health officials are emphasizing the need to continue to practice social distancing and mask wearing, including those who are receiving the vaccine, to reduce spread until enough people can receive the vaccine.

 

Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

Our CNS Occupational Medicine Team will be offering the COVID-19 Vaccine soon in Pennsylvania.

  • We will only be offering CDC recommended and approved vaccines.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine will be offered in phases, starting with healthcare workers, then the elderly and first responders and many other essential workers, and lastly the general population.
  • The CDC is offering an app called V-Safe for check-ins and to record and report any side effects.

Vaccine Administration length: 15 minutes.


Are you concerned for your staff and/or drivers and their COVID-19 exposure?

We offer on-site pre-shift screenings, screening questionnaires and temperature screenings for your distribution site, terminal, construction site or office.

We also offer more affordable options for frequent testing, including Rapid Antigen Testing and Antibody Testing.

Antigen tests are most effective when regular tests are administered, while Antibody Testing  provides insight into an employees’ COVID-19 exposure by determining whether they have developed COVID-19 antibodies.

If you think your business may be a candidate for prescreening temperature checks, antigen or antibody testing, you can contact us now or learn more about our COVID-19 services.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.


Covid-19 Vaccine Should Protect Against New Variants As Vaccine Distribution Increases

Truckers and COVID-19 | DOT Compliance Services | CNS

As of Christmas Eve, over 9.5 million doses had been distributed and just over 1 million doses had been administered

According to Dr. Amesh Adalja, a fellow with the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Covid-19 vaccine will offer protection against new variants of the virus based on preliminary data.

“It’s important to remember that a vaccine doesn’t create one type of antibodies, it creates a whole host of antibodies and it’s very hard for a virus to escape all of those, especially when it’s happening so fast – meaning this mutation is rather new. It’s not something that’s been evolving for some time,” Adalja told CNN on Wednesday.

The new COVID-19 variant in the United Kingdom can likely spread faster than others and has been detected in Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia, according to the World Health Organization.

While virus mutation is not uncommon, the potential of this new strain to spread rapidly is cause for concern.

However, we can protect ourselves and others from any new strain through taking the same social distancing and masks methods we have all year.


Interested in COVID-19 Services?

We can provide an estimate or suggestions specific to your company depending on your type of business and employees.

Coronavirus vaccines will get GPS tracking and flight priority

As of Christmas Eve, over 9.5 million doses had been distributed and just over 1 million doses had been administered. This gives tribute to the amazing work the trucking industry has done so far in these efforts.

As more vaccines become FDA-approved, distribution will be more complex, and the industry is ready to handle it as vaccines get GPS tracking and flight priority.

“Just to point out how profound this is, you have two fierce rivals … in FedEx and UPS who are literally teaming up to get this delivered,” said FedEx Express Executive Vice President Richard Smith.

With tens of millions of vaccines being distributed and truckers looking at receiving the vaccine in Phase 3 of the nation’s plan, what can we do now?

As we stated during the Thanksgiving holiday update, the most important thing we can do is to help flatten the curve. We are in the worst period of the pandemic and many are facing “pandemic fatigue”.

But we must stay vigilant in wearing our masks, think about what your holiday plans will look like with masks and social distancing, and being kind to those who agree or disagree with each other.

Let us seek the joy the holiday season brings and share the love with those on the frontlines.


Are you concerned for your staff and/or drivers and their COVID-19 exposure?

We offer on-site pre-shift screenings, screening questionnaires and temperature screenings for your distribution site, terminal, construction site or office.

We also offer antibody testing, which provides insight into employee exposure by determining whether or not they have developed COVID-19 antibodies.

If you think your business may be a candidate for prescreening temperature checks or antibody testing, you can contact us now or learn more about our COVID-19 services.

DOT Virtual SAP Assessments and Delayed Collector Requalification through June 2021

DOT Virtual SAP Assessment

SAPs are allowed, if they voluntarily choose to do so, to conduct a remote “face-to-face” evaluation and assessment while this policy is in effect during the pandemic.

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC) provided guidance about the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency on DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements for employers, employees, and service agents (collectors, MROs, SAPs). 

On April 4, 2020, ODAPC provided supplemental information specific to performing remote evaluations by Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP) and the re-qualification timelines for collectors, Medical Review Officers (MRO), Screening Test Technicians (STT) and Breath Alcohol Technicians (BAT), and SAPs.  

As of December 09, 2020, this statement is now effective through June 30, 2021.

Virtual SAP Assessments and Evaluations Allowed During Pandemic

Under federal regulations, the SAP must conduct a face-to-face, or in-person, assessment and evaluation of an employee who has violated DOT drug and alcohol regulations. 

ODAPC recognizes that conducting face-to-face assessments and evaluations during the pandemic may not be possible for certain individuals.

SAPs are allowed, if they voluntarily choose to do so, to conduct a remote “face-to-face” evaluation and assessment while this policy is in effect during the pandemic.

ODAPC recommends that, when a SAP conducts assessments and evaluations remotely, the format of the assessment be documented in the final report for reference.

ODAPC realizes that performing evaluations remotely may not provide as much information to the SAP as a face-to-face evaluation would, but believes remote evaluations are preferable to not performing the evaluations at all. 

SAPs who choose to conduct initial assessments and evaluations and follow up evaluations remotely should consider the following parameters:

  • The technology used should permit a real-time two-way audio and visual communication and interaction between you and the employee.
  • You should determine if the quality of the technology (e.g., speed of the internet connection, clarity of the display, application being used, etc.) is sufficient for you to gather all the visual (e.g., non-verbal physical cues) and audible information you would normally observe in an in-person face-to-face interaction.
  • You may only utilize the technology if your State-issued license authorizes you to do so and within the parameters of that authority.

Delayed Collector and Other Service Agents Requalification Is Allowed

Under federal regulations, collectors, MROs, STT/BATs, and SAPs are required to maintain their DOT required qualifications by completing refresher training courses to continue acting as service agents in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program. 

  • Collectors and STT/BATs must complete refresher training every five years
  • MROs must complete requalification training every five years, and
  • SAPs must complete 12 professional development hours every three years

DOT realizes that during the pandemic, these service agents may find it difficult to find the necessary resources (e.g., exam location or personnel to conduct mock collections, etc.) to meet their re-qualification requirements.

If a service agent is unable to meet their re-qualification due date while this statement of enforcement discretion is in effect, DOT will not consider it a non-compliance for purposes of starting a public interest exclusion proceeding against the service agent. 

DOT will consider these service agents qualified per Part 40 to continue providing the Part 40 required services while this policy is in effect.


DOT Training

All fleets need to conduct proper and thorough pre and post trip inspections, which consists of implementing quality:

  • driver training that is ongoing and consistent
  • driver education, and
  • driver awareness of current and changing traffic laws

All of this will help prevent being targeted by the DOT at roadside inspections and is a valuable resource to ensure a healthy fleet, and compliant safety practices.

Our DOT trainers offer a variety of in-person or online training courses tailored to the specific needs or weaknesses of your company.


Interested in Training?

The Trucking Industry’s Role in COVID Vaccine Distribution

Trucking's Role in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

There will be at least 6 vaccines that will likely meet acceptable effectiveness – we will dive into the first 2 announced.

This November has seen the highest jump in reported COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the U.S. and in states where a major outbreak had not previously appeared.

While wearing masks and increasing social distancing can reduce the spread of COVID, it does not kill the disease, just slows it down to acceptable levels to keep our healthcare at reasonable capacities.

The only way to truly get ahead of the pandemic and back to normal life is scientifically approved vaccines to be distributed across the globe.

Two Vaccines Show High Effective Rates In Human Trials

Vaccine researchers deserve to be praised for finding highly effective vaccines, with no major side effects, in only ten months with the capability to have millions of vaccines available by the end of the year.

Two major super-pharma companies have released human trial results in the past week. Pfizer’s vaccine trial showed an effective rate of 95% with hopes to distribute around 50 million vaccine by the end of the year. Moderna’s vaccine trial showed an effective rate of 94.5% and hopes to distribute around 20 million by the end of the year.

In perspective, the annual flu vaccine hopes to achieve over 60% effective rates as biologists must guess what various flu strains will look like for the next flu season.

To transport and deliver these vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine is required to be kept at -70 degrees Celsius and the Moderna vaccine to be kept at -20 degrees Celsius.

To note, there are 4 other vaccines that will likely meet acceptable effectiveness that will also be easier to produce and distribute.

So, what will the logistics look like for these two vaccines?


Interested in COVID-19 Services?

We can provide an estimate or suggestions specific to your company depending on your type of business and employees.

Massive Cold-Storage Supply Chain Will Be Tested

Not only does Pfizer and Moderna plan to produce a billion vaccines each to be distributed worldwide, but both vaccines require two doses for proper immunity.

These vaccines also require cold supply chains, or to be refrigerated from production to distribution, to extend the shelf-life of the vaccine.

This means everything must be kept chilled with a massive amount of special equipment, reefer trailers, containers, and more.

According to NBC News, “Pfizer is marshaling a massive new cold-storage supply chain to handle the delicate dance of transporting limited doses of its coronavirus vaccine from manufacturer to any point of use within two days.”

The company says the vaccines will be packed below dry ice inside thermal packaging containers developed by Pfizer, which should maintain the -70 degree Celsius requirement for enough time to transport the vaccine from manufacturer to distribution points through standard pharmaceutical reefer trailers at -30 Celsius.

The packages, containing 1,000 to 5,000 doses, will be shipped by air to major distribution hubs and then delivered by trucks to hospitals, outpatient clinics, community vaccination locations and pharmacies.

However, everyday pharmacies are not able to stockpile large quantities of vaccines that require subzero storage. Though, pharmacies may be able to keep Pfizer’s cooler-size boxes on hand, and other vaccines can be stored at less extreme temperatures.

According to the New York Times, UPS is creating a freezer farm in Louisville, KY where it can store millions of doses of vaccine at subzero temperatures. FedEx already has machines in warehouses that can produce dry ice, and UPS said it was considering adding them.

Gen. Gustave Perna, the chief operating officer for the government’s Operation Warp Speed, which is tasked with distributing the vaccine, said Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that tracking and tracing every dose will require the use of a program called Tiberius that links databases from shipping companies and the government, a capability that didn’t exist two months ago.

What Can We Do Now?

With tens of millions of vaccines going to the most populous states and our healthcare workers first, what can we do now?

The most important thing we can do is to help flatten the curve. We are in the worst period of the pandemic and many are facing “pandemic fatigue”. But we must stay vigilant in wearing our masks, think about what your holiday plans will look like with masks and social distancing, and being kind to those who agree or disagree with each other.

Our healthcare workers are dealing with 36-hour shifts, collapsing with emotional distress, and not feeling the hero status they rightly deserve like in the beginning of the pandemic.

Let us be thankful and share the love and kindness we celebrate during the holidays with those on the frontlines.


Are you concerned for your staff and/or drivers and their COVID-19 exposure?

We offer on-site pre-shift screenings, screening questionnaires and temperature screenings for your distribution site, terminal, construction site or office.

We also offer antibody testing, which provides insight into employee exposure by determining whether or not they have developed COVID-19 antibodies.

If you think your business may be a candidate for prescreening temperature checks or antibody testing, you can contact us now or learn more about our COVID-19 services.


COVID-19 Pandemic Increases Positive Drug Tests and On-Site Testing


Since the emergence of COVID-19, the importance of drug and alcohol testing and driver physicals have not changed, especially considering positive drug testing rates have increased in April and May since 2019.

According to Clinical Reference Laboratories (CRL), positive drug test rates are up by more than 16% in April and 24.1% in May year-over-year. The culprit during the pandemic is marijuana, which increased 21% in April and 37.8% in May compared to the previous year. 

Similarly, DISA’s random positive drug testing rates have more than doubled, up from 0.18% in April 2019 to 0.37% in May 2020.

Employers, more now than ever, are taking employee health more seriously and attempting to make the required drug tests and driver physicals more convenient as they do not want to put workers at risk if health clinics are being used to test people who have COVID-19 symptoms.

With the hyper-focus of clean and safe facilities, minimizing hospital sites, and navigating collection sites or medical offices closing, many fleets are turning to on-site mobile drug testing.

This allows fleets to manage when drivers can be drug tested or receive required physical exams, trust their COVID health protocols, and not worry about busy testing and physical exam sites.

Trusted mobile collection sites are maintaining effective drug-testing procedures during the pandemic while increasing their on-site safety guidelines, which includes:

  • Stopping any testing if an illness is evident and advising the customer
  • Staff wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment during test sessions
  • Cleaning instruments and testing area after every test
  • Maintaining a minimum safe distance wherever practical, and
  • Treating the Donor with courtesy and respect at all times

On-site testing not only  employee safety during the pandemic, recent studies have shown that on-site and mobile collection testing has a higher rate of positives than clinic based testing.

This is most likely due to the element of surprise, where drivers may normally be able to purchase products in hopes of cheating their drug test or less opportunities for subversion of the testing process.

Check out our industry library resources of 15 videos, 2 ebooks, industry links, and CNS In The News content.

Can drivers refuse a drug test claiming COVID-19 pandemic concerns?

If your employees express concern about reporting for a drug test, on-site testing can assure them that employer guidelines are in place to protect them during drug testing and physical procedures.

It is important to note, if an employee refuses a drug test for any reason (including COVID-19 concerns), it is reported as a refusal to test.

This means collectors document the refusal and follow the company’s guidelines as outlined in its refusal to test policy.

If the company is regulated by the DOT, refusals are reported to the MRO (Medical Review Officer), reviewed, and a decision is made on whether or not it is a refusal to test based on the circumstances.

No matter the outcome, the driver will not be allowed to perform safety-sensitive functions, such as driving, during this process.


Mobile Drug and Alcohol Services

Want to save time and money?

If your company is committed to creating and maintaining a drug-free workplace with little to no interruptions in your operations, on-site collection may be the right option for you.

Our medical professionals are available to go on-site and perform drug and alcohol tests.

On-site drug and alcohol testing can be scheduled at your place of business or any other location of your choosing.

We are extremely flexible and can accommodate the busiest of schedules and various types of operations.

Our Certified DOT Examiners, Certified Collectors and Breath Alcohol Technicians (BAT) are readily available to serve you.

How does Mobile Drug Testing work?

  1. Schedule an on-site testing appointment for your company.
  2. We send appointment confirmation and a letter to all of your employees letting them know what to bring to the exam (upon request).
  3. Our professional staff will arrive 10 minutes early to set up.
  4. Our certified staff will provide collection services in an efficient manner.
  5. CNS will send samples to the certified lab. (24-48 turnaround time for DOT 5 Panel)
  6. Results upload by the Medical Review Officer (MRO) to your portal.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

Taking COVID-19 Precautions at Truck Stops

COVID-19 Precautions at Truck Stops

For six months now, COVID-19 has been affecting the personal health and wellness of truck drivers who are literally in the front seat of this crisis as they travel the country delivering goods.

Long-haul truck drivers have close contact with truck stop attendants, store workers, dock workers, other truck drivers, or may be coming in contact with surfaces touched or handled by a person with COVID-19.

There are many factors putting truck drivers at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19, including:

  • nationwide travel
  • handling of overseas goods
  • exposure at truck stops for meals and showers
  • multiple facility stops

How can truck drivers limit COVID-19 exposure at truck stops?

Beyond wearing cloth facemasks when out of your truck, the most important step is to pre-qualify truck stops, rest areas, and hotels to ensure such facilities are open, supplied, and follow recommended COVID-19 safety practices, such as:

  • proper food handling and food service
  • cleanliness and disinfection
  • contactless payment

If you drive for a motor carrier, see what truck stops or rest areas they recommend or are pre-qualified for your route.


Interested in COVID-19 Services?

We can provide an estimate or suggestions specific to your company depending on your type of business and employees.

Proper food handling at truck stops

Drivers need to think about what food they are purchasing. If there are shared soups, salad bar, or buffet offerings, possibly consider grab-and-go options. Also, consider pre-packaged condiments versus condiment stations for your food.

When getting a drink or coffee,use a new disposable cup whether you plan to use the cup or refill your own personal cup or mug.

Increased cleanliness and disinfection at truck stops

Many truck stops, like Pilot Flying J, are keeping fuel islands, showers, and restrooms open. Pilot has continued cleaning protocols for showers, restrooms, dining areas, and driver lounges.

Check out our industry library resources of 15 videos, 2 ebooks, industry links, and CNS In The News content.

Beyond routine cleaning, make sure truck stops have available hand-sanitizing stations, or bring your own and prioritize truck stops with private showers.

Consider contactless payment options at truck stops

Where possible, drivers should use paperless, electronic invoicing for fueling, deliveries, and other routine tasks. Otherwise, clean and disinfect regulalrly after using frequently touched surfaces.

 

Are you concerned for your staff and/or drivers and their COVID-19 exposure?

We offer on-site pre-shift screenings, screening questionnaires and temperature screenings for your distribution site, terminal, construction site or office.

We also offer antibody testing, which  provides insight into employee exposure by determining whether or not they have developed COVID-19 antibodies.

If you think your business may be a candidate for prescreening temperature checks or antibody testing, you can contact us now or learn more about our COVID-19 services.


 

FDA Authorizes Three COVID-19 and Flu Combination Tests

COVID-19 and Flu Combination Tests

With just one swab or sample, combination flu and COVID-19 tests can be used to get answers to Americans faster.

These combination tests work by testing a single sample from a patient for multiple respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19 and the seasonal flu, which can show similar symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Qiagen, and BioFire Diagnostics have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority for multiplex respiratory panels that include 20 total viral and bacterial pathogens known to cause serious respiratory disease.

This efficiency can go a long way to providing timely information for those sick with an unknown respiratory ailment.

Why combination testing is important

There are several important advantages to this combination testing.

Taking just one sample from a patient may help alleviate the need for multiple samplings, which means less discomfort for the patient with faster and more comprehensive results.

In addition, combination tests require fewer supplies, such as swabs and personal protective equipment, and reduce pressure on the supply chain for reagents.

The FDA hopes to authorize more combination tests as the fall flu season approaches.

Learn why getting you flu shot for the 2020-2021 flu season is so important.

In filing for the EUA, CDC presented data on the use of the test to analyze 115 samples, most of which were infected with either SARS-CoV-2, influenza A or influenza B. The test correctly identified all the samples, resulting in an overall percent agreement of 100%.

CDC’s original SARS-CoV-2 test also had a 100% agreement in the agency’s own evaluation.

With BioFire and Qiagen generating similar performance data on their tests, the U.S. could go into the flu season with three combination diagnostics. That arsenal may prove valuable in what some observers fear could be a perfect storm for the spread of multiple viruses in the country. 


Interested in a flu shot?

We are able to schedule individual or group flu shots with our Mobile Clinic for you or your company's employees.

Can the flu shot cause you to inadvertently test positive for COVID-19?

No, the CDC and FDA say that flu vaccines contain no type of coronavirus, like the one that causes COVID-19. 

The CDC notes that flu shots are made in two ways, which include using:

  1. flu viruses (not SARS-CoV) that have been “inactivated” or killed and aren’t infectious, or
  2. only one gene from a flu virus, as opposed to the full virus, to create an immune response without causing infection.

The CDC also said flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. 

SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, is a coronavirus, not an influenza virus, which means getting a flu vaccine will not cause you to test positive for coronavirus.

Who should get the flu vaccine and when?

The CDC recommends that anyone 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine and recommends getting the flu vaccine as early as September and October.

Staying ahead of the virus and getting your flu shot as soon as possible will help reduce the potential strain on hospital resources if people are getting sick. However, if flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue, even in January or later.

Where can you get the flu shot?

There are a lot of options out there to get your flu shot, but if you are local to Lititz, Pennsylvania area, CNS can assist with your 2020-2021 flu shot.

We offer flu shots to individuals or companies with a large set of employees interested on obtaining the flu vaccine.

Occupational Medicine Services

Our Occupation Medicine Team is knowledgeable and focused on best-in-class customer service when it comes to treating workers and employers, creating long-term health and wellness.

The goal of our medical staff is to keep workers safe and healthy on the job, allowing you to continue the production that keeps your business running.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.


Fleets Transporting In Virginia Face New Covid-19 Rules And Fines

infection disease preparedness and response plan

Companies with Virginia truck drivers will have to create infectious disease preparedness and response plans

Virginia is the first state to impose enforceable COVID-19 safety requirements in the workplace. Fleets based in or operating in the state are now figuring out what the effect of this new law will be for their drivers and operations.

The final Emergency Temporary Standard rule was first made public on July 17 by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and anticipates publication during the week of July 27.

What is required once the rule is published?

According to the rule, all companies based in Virginia will be required to:

  • classify employees by risk level (very high, high, medium and lower) based on workplace hazards and job tasks
  • establish policies for employees to self-monitor for COVID-19 signs and to report symptoms
  • put in place procedures to prevent employees who are known to have or are suspected of having COVID-19 from infecting co-workers, and
  • develop and implement a written infectious disease preparedness and response plan for employers of people in “medium risk” jobs (including truck drivers) that require being closer than 6 feet to other employees or the general public

Employers have 60 days from the rule’s effective (publication) date to develop the plan.

What does the Virginia Trucking Association (VTA) say?

According to Freightwaves, Dale Bennett, president and CEO of the Virginia Trucking Association, is seeking more clarity from the state on what he says could be a major regulatory burden for his members as well as shippers and receivers.

“If you have motor carriers or trucking companies that either do business in Virginia or have facilities in Virginia and you haven’t paid attention to this, you need to wake up,” Bennett told FreightWaves. “Anytime you talk about a new regulation, there’s going to be some cost associated with that. There are now certain requirements and responsibilities on the employer to report when employees test positive. These aren’t just guidelines anymore.”

For carriers that do not have locations in Virginia, once a driver steps out of the cab inside Virginia, there may be parts of these regulations that affect them.

What are the penalties if you disregard the rules?

According to Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, they can enforce the rules with fines for noncompliance ranging from $13,000 to $130,000 for repeat offenders and the state may shutter an employer’s operations, if deemed necessary.

How long will this last and what about other states?

The rules are set to expire six months after becoming published but could be extended if the state decides to do so.

We will be watching if additional states adopt similar plans.


DOT Compliance Services

Our complete Proactive Safety Management (PSM) program has been organized to get you through an FMCSA audit by managing your driver qualification files, drug consortium, Electronic Logging Devices (ELD), vehicle maintenance and more.

Whether you are a large trucking company that is on-boarding drivers quickly or a construction outfit with multiple trucks in your fleet, you need to stay aware of FMCSA regulations.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

Reduce COVID-19 Hospital Burdens, Get a 2020 Flu Shot

flu shots and flu vaccines

Why should you get a flu shot in 2020?

Health officials are wary of a second wave of COVID-19 hitting during the 2020-2021 flu season.

If this is true, there is a strong possibility that hospitals and their resources will be placed under tremendous strain.

How can we help reduce hospital burden?

If more Americans choose to receive a flu shot, this could ease the strain on hospitals across the country.

The COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have led to decreased use of routine preventive medical services, including vaccinations.

Last year’s flu season brought in an estimated 740,000 hospitalizations and up to 62,000 deaths. With the added medical attention necessary from COVID-19 cases, you can see how this will hinder the normal operation of your local hospitals.

What does the CDC say?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that less than half of Americans, approximately 45%, get the flu vaccine each year.

This may be different in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic will most likely drive more people to getting a flu shot.

According to the CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases Jay Butler, “Getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever as flu and COVID-19 could be circulating together as we move into the fall and winter months.”


Interested in a flu shot?

We are able to schedule individual or group flu shots with our Mobile Clinic for you or your company's employees.

Who should get the flu vaccine and when?

The CDC recommends that anyone 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine and recommends getting the flu vaccine as early as September and October.

Staying ahead of the virus and getting your flu shot as soon as possible will help reduce the potential strain on hospital resources if people are getting sick. However, if flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue, even in January or later.

Where can you get the flu shot?

There are a lot of options out there to get your flu shot, but if you are local to Lititz, Pennsylvania area, CNS can assist with your 2020-2021 flu shot.

We offer flu shots to individuals or companies with a large set of employees interested on obtaining the flu vaccine.


Occupational Medicine Services

Our Occupation Medicine Team is knowledgeable and focused on best-in-class customer service when it comes to treating workers and employers, creating long-term health and wellness.

The goal of our medical staff is to keep workers safe and healthy on the job, allowing you to continue the production that keeps your business running.

In addition to flu shots ,we offer a number of other health related services, including COVID-19 related services, such as pre-shift screenings, pre-employment screenings and antibody testing.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

COVID-19 Return to Work Plan: Antibody Testing and Temperature Screening

Return-to-Work Plans | DOT Compliance | CNS

What is your company’s Return to Work Plan?

As stay at home orders are being lifted across the country and employees start trickling back into the office or plants, it would be wrong to assume things will return to normal.

It is imperative that business owners take responsibility for protecting their employees and this can be accomplished by developing a Return to Work Plan for their organization.

In hotspots like New York, many are convinced they have already been exposed to and contracted COVID-19. However, the worse thing a person could do is assume they are immune because they believe that fever back in January was COVID-19.

This type of mentality makes a Return to Work Plan even more important.

What is a Return to Work Plan?

Basically, it means that businesses need to create a process and an environment that makes it safe for their employees to return to work.

Each Return to Work Plan will of course be unique to the company, but there are many similar concepts that can be implemented, including:

  • Antibody Testing
  • Pre-shift Temperature Screenings
  • How often will employees be checked?
  • Will employees return on a gradual basis?
  • Are there plans for cleaning of work areas?
  • Are there plans for keeping employees at a distanced?
  • Will face masks be required?

There is a much longer list  of rules and procedures that business owners can follow, but our focus is on the two that will assist in determining if employees are safe to be at work, Antibody Testing and Pre-shift Temperature Screenings.

What is COVID-19 Antibody Testing?

The COVID-19 Antibody Test provides individuals insight into whether they have been exposed to coronavirus and developed antibodies. This could be invaluable information for your company and assist in many decisions related to those employees who have developed immunity.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, COVID-19 antibody testing may indicate whether “the person has been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it, which may mean that person has at least some immunity to the coronavirus.”

However, it is important to note that the length of protection and whether the antibodies protect from re-infection is unknown at this point.

On May 7, a New York Times article detailed a new study that “adds evidence of immunity among those who have already been exposed to the disease, regardless of age, sex or severity of illness – making antibodies to the virus.” Experts were shocked by the percentage of people who have antibodies that were never diagnosed with coronavirus.

How is Antibody Testing useful for employers?

While the science on COVID-19 is evolving, testing for antibodies may help identify individuals who have likely been exposed. This information is helpful to make informed decisions about their risk of infection and spreading the virus in the workplace.

This is useful for employers as staff who are immune could replace vulnerable individuals, especially in high-transmission settings in the transportation industry, building a “shield immunity” in the population.

As of this writing, the Center for Health Security has provided a list of tests approved for research or individual use in the US that accurately detect antibodies in people who have them between 82 and 100 percent of the time. Their ability to correctly identify antibodies only in those who actually have them ranges from 91 to 100 percent.

It may take up to 14 days after the onset of symptoms for antibodies to be developed within the body and 91% of people develop such antibodies within the first 8-13 days. Some of those infected with COVID-19 will never exhibit symptoms, but will have a detectable antibody response.

Who is a candidate for Antibody Testing?

Antibody testing is not intended for use in individuals with an active COVID-19 infection, including individuals with symptoms. Patients who believe they may have COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to contact their healthcare provider.

All interested persons who have neither felt feverish in the last 3 days nor experienced any other COVID-19 symptoms within the past 10 days are appropriate candidates. Symptoms include:

  • loss of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • dry cough
  • feeling weak or lethargic
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • slurred speech
  • seizures

To protect collection site staff, please remember to wear either a face mask or some other form of face covering, when arriving at the laboratory collection site.

What are COVID-19 Pre-Shift Temperature Screenings?

Pre-Shift Temperature Screenings simply means that you will be screening each crew member and staff when they are reporting for duty, thereby reducing the risk to other employees.

If your employees have direct contact with someone who is ill or otherwise vulnerable populations, you want to know right away to prevent any spreading to other staff members.

Temperature screenings would be useful to continue using on all employees or those that have tested negative for antibodies.

Learn more about:
COVID-19 Services and Pre-shift Temperature Screenings


How can CNS help?

At CNS, we know how difficult it is as a business owner to determine what steps need to be taken, so we are assisting employers in getting their Return to Work Plans started by implementing our COVID-19 Antibody Tests and Pre-Shift Temperature Screenings.

Our Antibody test is a blood test identifying the presence of antibodies which indicate a person’s immune response to COVID-19. Positive results indicate that an individual may have had previous exposure to COVID-19 and their body has developed antibodies.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.