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While the jury is still out on the science of Omicron, a few observations:
83% of our positive cases are symptomatic
About 67% of the cases are unvaccinated
Vaccinated patients exhibit very mild symptoms only
We can show much clearer transmission links in Omicron than we did with Delta
In the 12 months we’ve been conducting COVID testing we’ve seen the industry numbers hover around half of the national average. We put that down to solid protocols and fair compliance with those requirements. Yesterday we had a positivity of 17.8% and so by that same logic we can deduce that compliance on productions has undoubtedly become too lax.
It’s clear from this that we need to reinforce the “don’t come to work sick” rule and we must send anyone who presents with symptoms straight back home. In terms of the NIOH guidance, it is illegal to allow a symptomatic person to work and it’s certainly much cheaper and safer to reschedule a day than it is to shut down production.
Mask, ventilate, vaccinate. And isolate and test if you have symptoms.
Last month we changed to the Roche Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Test. We’ve found it to be very accurate in detecting COVID and have run almost 50 PCRs as control samples to confirm this.
LABORATORY PCR TESTS start at R850 (suitable for travel)
RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS start at R375
Callout fees are R300 per address and we offer significant volume discounts for batch and bulk testing on both PCR and Antigen tests.
TO BOOK COVID TESTS
|Book at www.screentest.co.za
Click HERE to WhatsApp
Please Note: We are unable to offer credit terms on testing during the fourth wave – for the December/January period at least, tests will be invoiced daily and test invoices are payable on presentation. With the current demand we’ve increased our stock holding and have a minimum of two testing medics and/or nurses on the road each day.
There are a couple of common questions coming from various production teams:
Should we COVID test everyone?
We DO NOT recommend blanket testing in long format productions unless there is a specific cause for concern such as multiple cases or a high-risk case that influences multiple departments, with an associated pattern of positive tests. Blanket testing in this environment would need to be done weekly at least to reach real efficacy and that is simply unsustainable. In isolation it is a (costly) sledgehammer approach! We DO recommend blanket testing for crews on TVCs and short projects at this time, where that crew comprises freelancers who typically work on multiple productions in a month. This is a higher risk environment.
Can we make vaccines mandatory?
There are still mixed views on this but we have been advised that this is very doable and we are in support of the idea. The key argument to support this would be the Employer’s duty of care and responsibility to create a safe working environment. Chat to your HR person and reach out if you’d like to make this happen, we can assist with the necessary risk assessments to support such a move.
Should we have a wrap party?
Please don’t! At least, not in any traditional guise. We’d recommend a better-than-average lunch on the final day of shoot (everyone loves a spit braai right?) as a safer alternative.
How are we going to manage a return to work in the mid/end stages of a wave?
We’re not sure. Yet. The only consistency in the COVID dynamic is its unpredictability and so we’re going to need to keep an eye on the numbers, the infection rates and the geographical spread to ascertain and measure the risk in January. Each production will need to be assessed individually.
DOH & NIOH INSPECTIONS
Over the last month we’re aware of three Department of Health or Occupational Health inspections at local productions. Typically inspections have included reviewing signage, compliance and daily data but one of those went as far as reviewing risk assessments, training records and compliance with the NIOH and COVID test reporting protocols. If an inspector arrives at your location please contact us immediately for assistance on 083-577-7592.
For assistance 24 hours a day call 083-577-7592 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
// The Public Safety Team currently manages COVID health & safety and compliance and provides medical services to 12 productions in the Gauteng area and services between 3 and 5 TVCs per week. This allows us unprecedented insight into the COVID risk in the local industry and gives us a unique ability to identify and respond to COVID risk. Our surveillance system regularly identifies high risk scenarios, most commonly with cast/crew moving between productions.
We are not just a set medic solution. As a health & safety business we have qualified Safety Officers and internationally certified COVID 19 Compliance Officers (C19CO) and we’re well versed in all of the current government, industry and Broadcaster legislation and protocols. Our team are medically qualified and registered with the Health Professions Council and report to a Doctor who, as Supervising Medical Officer ensures our decisions are clinically sound. The Public Safety Company (Pty) Ltd is a BEE L2 company.
Find the SASFED guidelines here.
ALSO READ: COVID Protocols Add About 5% to Film and TV Production Costs, Study Finds: COVID protocols have added about 5% to the cost of film and TV production budgets, according to an analysis by the California Film Commission. The study is the first to precisely quantify the costs of COVID compliance, including COVID testing and distancing and isolation measures. Producers have previously given anecdotal figures ranging from 10-15%. Variety