Companies such as Amazon, Walmart, small businesses, and other organizations weigh out the pros and cons of employee testing as they slowly reopen under updated government regulations. Wisely choosing at what capacity they should be operating, owners also fear that their staff will develop a false sense of security due to testing results.

Amazon plans to spend up to $4 billion or more to regularly test its employees, and at the same time continue to plan for a lab in Cincinnati.

'Under normal circumstances, in this coming Q2, we'd expect to make some $4 billion or more in operating profit,' Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO announced. Since the pandemic circumstances are anything but normal, they'd rather allocate that budget on the safety of their employees and expenses related to safe deliveries to their customers.

Doug McMillon of Walmart said that 'We're pursuing strategies in testing associates for the virus, including in the longer term, antibody testing,' for their 2.2 million employees worldwide. About 1.5 million of the workforce is in the US.

Walmart had already spent about $900M in pandemic-related costs - mostly for the well-being of their workforce in the form of bonuses and other benefits. 

They had even acquired 235,000 more staff in the US since March. 

On a smaller scale, a Jewish sandwich shop, Shapiro's Delicatessen, had already tested about 25 of its employees even though initially, some were hesitant. They've resumed operations in Indianapolis. 

There are No Absolute Answers

Even with on-going testing and budgets for mass-testing, John Constantine of ARCPoint Franchise Group recognizes that the absolute answer people are looking for is a difficult conversation.

'If I do this, will it guarantee I'll have a safe workplace?'

Health risks may be reduced with testing and observing other safety guidelines, yet without a definite cure and with coronavirus still affecting millions worldwide, 100% safety remains unguaranteed.

More data is still needed, as reported by the Association of Public Health Laboratories and Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.

Until there's sufficient evidence, Scott Becker of APHL reports, 'serological tests alone should not be used to make decisions' for employees to return the work and gain a false sense of security.

Specifically, scientists are striving to collect more data on how humans gain 'the persistence and protection offered by antibodies' against COVID-19. 

In Alabama, Karen Landers of the Department of Public Health announced 'We don't want people to get a false sense of security.' She disagrees with companies that are eager to test all their employees.

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Mass-Testing Continues 

It is still uncertain that everyone who initially tests negative for coronavirus will remain healthy after exposure. There is a possibility of uninfected people contracting the virus when they return to their workplace or from other public exposure.

High-risk workplaces include factories and meatpacking plants, which would most likely need more frequent testing of workers. 

Efforts for mass testing continues to increase, as seen in The COVID Tracking Project's data. Testing has doubled since 200,000 people a day in April.

Similarly, Las Vegas casinos have begun testing. Ron Reese of Las Vegas Sands said 'that a company like ours is doing everything possible to make it the safest environment.'

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