News

Sheboygan firm helps provide COVID-19 surface testing

by Jeff Pederson
for The Beacon

One of the most challenging and frustrating aspects of the COVID-19 (coronavrius) public health emergency, has been the uncertainty and mystery surrounding the pandemic disease, which has contributed to the widespread shutdown of our local economy economy and the routines of daily life in general.

In an effort to help local businesses detect the presence of COVID-19 in their facilities, Fehr Graham of Sheboygan recently introduced a surface test that has already generated an overflow of interest.

The COVID-19 pandemic has launched Fehr Graham into high gear in seeking new strategies to aimed an improving the overall safety of local companies during one of the most difficult periods in modern history.

“Fehr Graham is an environmental and engineering consulting firm,” Fehr Graham Environmental Division Manager Matt Schroeder said. “We work with our clients to provide environmental and health and safety services. We also work to assess and help clean up contaminated properties and provide a wide range of engineering services including water and wastewater design and civil, structural and survey services.

“Fehr Graham has 10 offices in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa,” he said. “Our office in Sheboygan is located downtown on North  Eighth Street.”

According to Schroeder, the COVID-19 surface test has been developed through Fehr Graham’s partnership with a leading safety laboratory.

“The test was developed by one of our partner laboratories,” Schroeder said. “We regularly work with environmental testing labs to test water, soil and also look for things like asbestos and lead-based paint. This test is being provided by one of our trusted partners.”

Schroeder says the COVID-19 surface test is quick and easy and can go a long way in improving the level of safety during today’s highly uncertain times.

“A swab is used to collect a sample from any environmental surface, like a desk, doorknob or workstation,” Schroeder said. “The lab uses a test method specified by the Federal Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to look for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The lab will report that the virus was either “detected” or “not detected.” This particular test is only for environmental testing, not for human testing. Test kits can be delivered within 24 hours.”

Schroeder says the COVID-19 surface test can help businesses gain peace of mind in carrying out daily on-site operations.

“Businesses can use the test to confirm the presence of the virus within the facility,” Schroeder said. “This could be useful to help ensure that employees or customers can safely work or shop in the facility. The test can also be used to confirm the effectiveness of ongoing cleaning and disinfection efforts.”

The introduction of the COVID-19 surface test has been met with an overwhelming response from interested companies hoping to seek more information regarding the level of safety in their respective workplace.

“We have just started to get this information out to our customers,” Schroeder said. “There has been quite a lot of interest in it, and facilities are thinking through when and where to use this test.”

“We would be happy to discuss this service with any facility anywhere in the United States,” he said.

Aside from the COVID-19 surface test, Schroeder says Fehr Graham provides a multitude of additional safety-related services to help guide area businesses through the roller coaster of state government-mandated health and safety regulations.

“Fehr Graham health and safety professionals are always working with facilities to develop plans for keeping employees safe at work,” Schroeder said. “We are happy to provide this service as an extension of that. We are also working to help develop contingency planning and written procedures for site safety related to COVID-19.”

For more information contact Matt Schroeder by email at mschroeder@fehr-graham.com or by phone at (920) 838-6373.

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