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DOT Releases COVID-19 Drug Testing Guidance
4 mins read

While we can't speak for all networks, those who use Foley as their TPA can rest assured that COVID-19 testing is not done in the same facilities that we use for urine testing.

Over the past few weeks, the DOT has issued a few compliance waivers and exemptions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included a temporary hours of service waiver for truckers who are hauling freight to support the COVID relief efforts as well as a renewal extension for expired CDLs and medical cards.

Make Life Easier With Digital & Fully Compliant DOT Drug Testing Programs- Learn More

But while the DOT does acknowledge that drug and alcohol testing will be more challenging right now, they  aren’t issuing any waivers from the testing regulations. As a DOT-regulated employer and/or driver, you must make every effort possible to stay compliant during this time.

Collection Site Issues

One issue employers are having right now is finding available testing site locations and professionals. With stay-at-home orders in many states – as well as facility closures for non-urgent visits –  getting access to Substance Abuse Professionals, Medical Review Officers and Breath Alcohol Technicians may not be an easy task.

Drivers may also have concerns about visiting a collection site for a random drug test out of concerns over contracting the virus.

If you’re working with a Third Party Administrator, contact them first to both discuss your concerns and get help locating available collection site resources in your area. At Foley, for example, we maintain a growing network of collection sites throughout the country to make it as easy as possible for drivers to get tested. We’re also doing everything in our power to ensure that our collection site network is as safe as possible for drivers during this time. While we can’t speak for all networks, those who use Foley as their TPA can rest assured that COVID-19 testing is not done in the same facilities that we use for urine testing.

The DOT also recommends looking into mobile collection site options if you’re unable to locate an on-site facility in your area.

Stay Up-to-Date in Our New COVID-19 Resources Center

Dealing With Delays

As we mentioned above, while the DOT does understand that the current pandemic could create testing issues that make compliance difficult, employers should do everything in their power to fulfill their federally-mandated drug and alcohol testing requirements. So, if a random testing requirement needs to be fulfilled, but can’t be due to unavailable resources or driver illness, try to reschedule it for later in the selection period. In most cases, there is some flexibility in the regulation that will allow you to meet your testing requirements at a slightly later point in time if needed.

Where there is no flexibility, however, is in the completion of the pre-employment drug test. If a driver is unable to complete the test due to COVID-related closures, they won’t be able to begin work until that test is complete.

If you are still unable to meet your testing requirements because of the pandemic, you should contact your TPA immediately for guidance. They’ll help you establish a plan that will keep your program on track. If you’ve been managing your program on your own, this may be a good time to consider the help of a TPA that can help you navigate this challenging regulatory environment.

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