Retail chains will be able to send staff for coronavirus tests

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Latvia's Health Ministry on April 14 announced new measures that will in future allow employers in the retail sector to send staff members for COVID-19 tests without the need for the individual's family doctor to be part of the process.

"In order to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Latvia, tests will be performed on retail workers if there are symptoms of the disease, also by order of the employer. Until now, store employees could be sent for testing by a family doctor if they showed signs of illness," said a statement from the ministry.

In order to expand testing in this particular group of workers that comes into close contact with the general public, the State Operational Medical Commission (VOMK) decided that employers will also be able to send employees for analysis.

VOMK is a consultative and coordinating institution, the purpose of which is to ensure the coordinated operation of health sector institutions in an emergency medical situation. It includes representatives of the Ministry of Health, National Health Service, Emergency Medical Service, Riga East Clinical University Hospital, Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital, State Agency of Medicines, State Blood Donor Center, Health Inspectorate, State Forensic Medicine Expertise Center participate and Children's Clinical University Hospitals.

If an employer wishes to test his or her employee displaying symptoms of COVID-19, a designated representative of the industry will contact the Emergency Medical Service to arrange for a test for a specific person or persons. Accordingly, large retail chains will each nominate their own contact person, but other retailers are invited to contact the Latvian Traders' Association's specially established 24-hour Trade Crisis Center hotline on 67297372 for further advice.

The same rules will also apply to the employees of the Latvian postal service, Latvijas Pasts.


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