Company helps employers combat Covid test shortage

Covid test

With rising Omicron cases, employers have been losing time and manpower in search of Covid test kits. One supply company says they have a solution.

Franchisors and franchisees have been scrambling thanks to rising Omicron cases and a shortage of Covid test kits. It is getting more and more challenging to find self-administered non-prescription Covid-19 tests for cost-efficient compliance with pandemic health protocols.

Lawmen Supply/Municipal Emergency Services (MES) is riding to the rescue. The online supply company says they can help employers save time and money. “The Covid test shortage is wreaking havoc. Employers are losing money to price gouging and are facing staffing issues,” said MES Sales rep George Trillhaase, a retired law enforcement officer from New Jersey.

MES previously provided Covid-19 test kits to law enforcement agencies and health departments throughout the country, but has only now started supplying them to the private sector. The test kits are sold in quantities ranging from a box of 25 tests to a case of 640 tests – and even up to a pallet of 6,400 tests. 

MES can supply Abbott BinaxNOW Covid-19 Antigen Self Tests and Indicaid Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test with delivery in 12 days or less. These tests can be administered on-site so that employees aren’t off-duty for extended periods of time, and the cost is much less than if a medical lab performed the test.

We’re not price-gouging, we just want to put the Covid test kits in the hands of people who need them.

Trillhaase told FranchiseWire that the costs of kits will fluctuate a bit depending on the source and simply because the marketplace for test kits, like practically everything, is subject to the laws of supply and demand. But he said they will be reasonably priced. “We’re not price-gouging,” Trillhaase said. “We just want to put the Covid test kits in the hands of people who need them.”

The New York Times has reported that some labs have charged up to $380 for a single Covid test. When pharmacies have the tests available, they can cost as little as $20 each; many pharmacies have run out of tests or have inconsistent supplies, however. (My Kroger pharmacy in Texas had a sign posted last week saying that it had no tests.) Even at the relatively reasonable pharmacy cost, savings with self-administered tests can be substantial: With 40 employees needing weekly testing at $20 a pop compared to a test that costs $13, the business is out an extra $280 per week. That calculates to well in excess of $1,000 per month. 

Both the Abbott BinaxNOW and Indicaid results rapid tests are designed for use to detect active Covid infections in a “point of care” setting. This means that the tests don’t have to be administered in a lab and can be put to use in at workplaces. These tests involve the use of nasal swabs that can be done by people 15 and older. The smallest quantity for the Abbott BinaxNOW test kits (results in 15 minutes) is a box that contains 40 individual tests. The smallest size for the Indicaid tests (results in 20 minutes) is a box of 25 test kits. 

Trillhaase said his company generally uses UPS for delivery of small shipments, but large quantities, such as a pallet, will be sent to the purchaser by freight.  

To learn more about the Omicron variant and covid testing, visit the CDC website. For more information about ordering Covid testing kits, contact or call 732-539-2052.

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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